Going Above and Beyond


I’ve talked before about how frequently I receive queries from end users. It’s because when people Google one of the brands we distribute our website comes up, and my name, phone number and email are right there.

I don’t sell to end users. I have dealers for that. But I always take the time to talk to the person. I find out who they are and what they’re looking for. I ask questions and qualify them. As we all know, what someone says they’re looking for isn’t always what they actually need. Anyway, once I’ve got a handle on who they are and what they need, I refer them to whichever of my dealers is both geographically convenient and qualified to look after them.

Why do I take the time to do that? That’s easy. It’s because by doing that I’m making two sales: one for me, and one for my dealer. My dealers know I do this, and they appreciate it.

My success is the result, in the aggregate, of the success of my dealers. When they are successful, I’m successful too.

I had an experience years ago that stays with me. I was working at the now-gone A&B Sound. One weekend was a brand-specific promotional weekend. The TV brand had paid for co-op advertising and instant rebates. Also, regional reps for the brand were in stores that weekend, as the face of the brand, and supporting us salespeople to sell as many TVs as possible.

The rep who was in my store that weekend was a national account manager (despite A&B Sound’s size at our peak we were still a regional retailer) and was roped in by their employer to get full rep coverage throughout our stores.

I know they were a national account manager because they took the time to tell every customer they spoke to that “This isn’t my account.” I probably heard them say that 20 times that weekend.

Who cares that it’s not your account? Certainly not the guy who came in to shop for TVs. And who cares that you’re not directly getting a commission from what we’re selling here this weekend? Certainly not the customers. And certainly not me, for that matter?

Seriously, why even bring it up at all? Even if you don’t want to be here, you are. So, do your best.

In the role I have now I have attended many events supporting my brands where I don’t have a direct relationship with the account. And I’m always happy to be there. Why? Because we’re all on the same team. And when my brands and my employer are doing well, that helps me too.