Making the Most Out of a Sales Rep Visit
As a Regional Sales Director for a company that exports extrusion equipment to over 100 countries, I typically make sales visits to current customers and potential customers once or twice a year, or every other year depending on the location and amount of business in that area. As a business owner or operations manager, you might think that a visit by a salesperson is simply to try to sell you their products. However a sales visit is a very good opportunity for you to learn what is going on in the feed industry and learn about new advances in technology.
Typically on a visit I like to start by asking how their operation is currently running and then discuss how they may be able to maximize both the efficiency in the plant and the quality of the final product. This is often very well received because if the business owner can spend less to make the same amount of product, they will have better margins and more money in their pocket at the end of the year. After discussing current processes, our focus turns to the future. As a business owner you probably are always thinking about improving and growing your business. The sales rep can look at your infrastructure, raw materials availability and your interests to determine what would be a good fit.
I urge you to make the most of a Sales Rep visit and be prepared with questions and discussion topics upon their arrival in order to make the most of the limited time available. It does not cost you anything and the worst that can happen is you learn that you have more areas of improvement that you thought. For the overall health of your business, this is a good thing to know. Not only that, but if your business is running well and making money, it helps with future investments, and the Sales Rep will be more than happy to help you find the right solutions to help you profitably grow your business.
A sales rep should bring value to you with new ideas, should challenge your thinking and should provide you with market insights, along with providing other valuable contributions to your business strategies. If they are not, and are just selling you a product, then you should question whether you are working with the right company.