Your objective, as a field rep, is finding your dealer’s needs, problems, and desires and then showing him how your product is the hero or solution to those needs, problems, and desires. This can only be done through a personalized presentation.
A Field Rep is Like a Doctor
Probably one of the biggest mistakes a field rep makes is failing to find the dealer’s needs, problems, and desires. It is like going to the doctor and having him prescribe two aspirins, without asking any questions, only to find out later you’re allergic to aspirin.
A good doctor goes through a step-by-step procedure. He first inquires about your medical history and your current symptoms–then he prescribes a cure for your problem. Of course, whether or not you follow the doctor’s directions is up to you.
A field rep is like a doctor. Before you talk to a dealer, you should know something about him and his market. Consult his “chart” to review his past history (a good database is essential to know your dealer and his needs, preferences, and market). You should also have good bedside manners and get to know your dealer as a person. Getting to know the person before you move into your presentation helps you customize your demo, not only to the dealer’s needs but also to his personality.
Customizing your demo takes thought. Good field reps are good thinkers–they can diagnose a situation and then decide what product’s market features will best apply.
Again, just like a doctor, however, all you can do is prescribe a cure. You cannot force a dealer to accept your cure. Just as the doctor provides a service, you provide a service by finding needs, problems, and desires and then demonstrating how your product fulfills those needs, problems, and desires.
After you know the needs, problems, and desires of your dealer communicate how your current product can fulfill those needs, problems, and desires. You must paint a picture of what your product can do for him before stocking your product becomes important to him.
Selling The Benefits
Elmer Wheeler once said, “Sell the sizzle – not the steak.” Your job is to sell benefits. Selling benefits simply means showing how your product can fill the needs of your dealer’s customers and hence fill your dealer’s own needs of providing profitable goods and services. Remember, you’re not selling software and hardware, you are selling benefits!
While selling benefits, it is important to give logical reasons for buying, but you must also appeal to the emotions. Appealing to the emotions simply means selling the benefits of your product which are most appealing to your dealer.
Example: Ami Pro
Because Ami Pro was rated “highest overall ease of use,” the customer will feel less frustration with the product and the dealer will now spend less time with tech support.
- With Ami’s ATM font’s, dot matrix printers will print better–the dealer can move his printer stock and free up more money to spend at home on his new boat.
- Rockwell corporation called last week and wants an easy “desktop publishing” program. They also wanted to buy more word processors. Now the dealer has a better chance to help a major client and earn the associated money.
- One of your dealer’s biggest clients are Lotus 123 users and have been considering upgrading to 123 for Windows. Now your dealer can attempt to close them on the “double-up offer” (both 123 & Ami Pro for Windows) and beat out the competitors who aren’t aware of this special.
- The dealer is the secretary of a local Elks club. He was just assigned to write a monthly newsletter. Now he can use AMI Pro instead of two programs (Word Perfect AND Pagemaker). It’s faster and frees his time for other things.
A good way you can tell if you are selling the benefits effectively and personalizing your presentation to fill the needs, problems, and desires of your dealers are through “buying signals.” The following are examples of Buying Signals.
- “Is it available through distribution?”
- “How long does it take to get it in?”
- “Are there any specials for this product?”
“Hot Buttons” are also buying signals. Throughout every sales presentation always listen for your dealer’s “Hot Buttons.” All needs, problems, and desires that are brought up by the dealer in the presentation are “Hot Buttons.”
“This OCR software would be great for Rockwell.”
“I have a hard time finding a program that would do…”
“This capture card would help John with his desktop publishing”
Examples of Hot Buttons
Whenever your dealer gives you a “Hot Button,” STOP your presentation and build upon his “Hot Button” with exciting positive comments. Examples:
- Dealer: “This new mouse pen would help Dave with his portable computer.”
- Field Rep: “It would, wouldn’t it? One dealer that I talked to said he has sold one with EVERY portable system–his customers love it. Give Dave a call and see what he thinks.”
A Golden Nugget of Truth
Point of Sale
At the point when the dealer feels that your product is of more value than the money in his checking account–a sale is made.
- How is a Channel rep like a doctor?
- We sell ________________.
- What is one benefit of a product you’re now showing?
- What are “Buying Signals?”
- Why are “Hot Buttons” so important?
- When is a sale made?