A "Rant" in Sheep's Clothing: Deep Thoughts from Multi-Line Rep Nowell Wisch
As I continue my ...Really?? rant series, this time it's from the perspective of a multi-line rep. My goal in these rants is to address communication challenges and best practices from all facets of our industry. By seeing situations from another person's vantage point, I hope that it helps remind us that communication is a two-way street. And we all have room for improvement.
In this rant, as a distributor and publisher, it's not possible for me to share from a
multi-line perspective. Therefore, I have sought the input of wordsmith and outstanding multi-line rep Nowell Wisch. I've known Nowell for many years and knew he was the right person for the job. Not surprisingly, he hit this one out of the park. I "wisch" I could write like Nowell. This is great stuff! Coming soon, the perspective of suppliers.
"Multi-line rep rants to the right of me. Multi-line rep rants to the left of me. Multi-line rep rants behind me and multi-line rep rants before me..."
Well, OK, maybe not a "rant" per se. Why would a multi-line rep rant at the very customer base necessary for his survival? Because when you've been contacted by Jeff, you can't say no, and he asks for a "rant." This is a "rant in sheep's clothing" since it is a cautionary tale at worst, and a plea at best. It is a "Why should I talk to you?" and "What do I get for my precious time?"
A multiline rep spends the day earning trust. Our commissions will reflect the extent to which we can do that. Distributors call reps every day because they know that the three minute conversation might save hours of research in solving a client's problem. Good reps from "single product" companies earn the same amount of respect, and their success is often affected by the range of products they offer. The wider the range, the more business they can do with a particular distributor. Many, many sales managers and company owners have heard distributors remark, "Gee, I sure wish you did (name a product). Everyone in that business isn't as reliable as you."