The one word that best encapsulates my job is this one: Communication.
Ultimately, my job is to be a liaison with my dealers. I provide them with the information that best meets their needs; from product knowledge to logistics schedules to best practices.
In order to be effective at that, I also need listen to their feedback about what they need and want to best do their jobs, and act on it, as best I am able.
All too often, the opposite of talking isn’t listening; it’s waiting for your chance to talk.
It’s been my experience that if you are the rare person who actually listens to people they notice, and appreciate it.
Further, it makes a big difference in your business relationships if you flex to communicate with your customers in the way in which they’re most comfortable.
The majority of my customers prefer to communicate by email.
There are still quite a few who still prefer to call me on the phone, or be called.
And there are also a handful who prefer to do business by text message.
These are individual preferences, and I accommodate them. Whatever works, right?
I even have one dealer, an older gentleman who only communicates by fax machine.
Fax? What century is this?
I don’t even have a fax machine in my office at home, and regardless, I’m in my car or in an airport more often than not anyway.
I like this guy, and I value his business, but I’m not going to install a fax machine for one customer.
So what happens is he sends his faxes to our head office in Vancouver. My sales assistant scans them into pdfs and emails them to me for review and authorization, after which his orders are processed.
I know that sounds tedious, and it is, but you’ve got to be flexible, right?