Most rep firms don’t give any thought to becoming well-known in their territory and in their industry, which is a shame because if you make sure everyone knows your name and what a great rep firm you have, life will become a lot easier. It will be easier to get new customers, partners and most importantly, principals. In fact, principals will be beating a path to your door.
There are several key ingredients to becoming well-known. First, make sure people know who you are for a good reason and not a bad reason. You want people to remember you for the good things you do—for bringing in business for your principals, for knowing and servicing your customers better than anyone else can, for being truthful and honest, for being reliable and dependable, and for always doing the right thing. You want to do such a good job that your principals brag about your firm representing them.
To help you along this path, here are seven ways to make sure that you are the greatest rep in your industry:
- Do everything right. Make sure you treat your customers and your principals the way you would want to be treated even down to crossing your “T’s” and dotting your “I’s”. Manage your reputation by doing things in a way that will burnish that reputation.
- Treat your principals as partners; sell their products like they are the best in the world. Let your principals know what a privilege it is to represent them in your territory.
- Have a marketing and branding plan. Do not be afraid of publicity, but rather, look for it. Write a column in The ERA Representor; hold a key position on one of their boards. Take a leadership position in your local chapter, volunteer to speak at trade shows, and become a true sales expert. Make sure that everyone knows your company’s name.
- Ask for referrals and success stories. There is nothing more effective than having someone else talk about how good you are. When something good happens, write it up. Ask your customer and your principal if you can use their names. If together you completed an amazing project, write about it in a way that will benefit everyone involved. Write an article about the great relationship you have with one of your principals. The more success stories that are shared about your company the better your image will be. Use these stories in your own marketing, on your website, and in social media. Then ask the other parties involved to do the same.
- Speaking of social media…Make sure you are active in social media and that you use it to get your name in front of as many people as possible. Start and lead a LinkedIn group. Twitter about anything you publish. Use it to promote the lines you are representing and the products you are selling. This is no time to be shy; social media is the best and fastest way to get your name out and create a solid gold reputation.
- Network, always. Make a good impression on everyone you meet. Once you make someone’s acquaintance never let them go. Send them follow-up emails, and help them if you can. Try to help everyone you meet and people will do the same for you.
- Write a book. Hundreds of books have been written on sales and marketing, but there are just a handful on being a successful rep, and most of those are out-of-date or out-of-print. Why not write one based on your own experiences? Writing a book is the single most effective way to get your name out there as an industry expert. Writing a book will also lead to offers to speak and present at conferences. It will also give you the inside track in winning that principal that everyone wants to represent. In today’s world, self-publishing has never been easier. You can write an e-book, convert it to an Amazon Kindle book, and get it on their website. Or if you want traditional publishing, you can use a service like Diggy Pod where for a few hundred dollars you can publish a paper book. Once you do that you will be considered the pro from Dover when it comes to selling and running a rep firm.
And one more in the spirit of under promising and over delivering: Be generous by promoting other people, rep firms and companies. There is plenty of credit to go around, make sure you are the one who is spreading it. People will respect you for your generosity, especially the fact that you are not only helping your own company, but helping the industry as well.
It’s only common sense.