Effective sales training for your rep firms and distributors – impossible dream?

A manufacturer who sells via rep firms and distributors has a tough row to hoe when it comes to sales training.  If they were your own employees, you could force them to sit through the classes.  With non-employees, you have to ask nicely and hope.  Your own employees need to please only you.  Rep/distributor employees need to please every one of the multiple manufacturers they represent.  Your own employees work in the same building.  Reps and distributors are spread out all over creation.

Many manufacturers have turned to webinars and videos to help address these issues, but frankly, they only address the third one.  (Assuming of course they pay attention.)

A talk radio show makes your rep/distributor training efforts dramatically more effective.

Think about it.  You do an ongoing series of interviews with real live sales pros and managers from your partner firms about best practices, case studies, success stories, applications, problem-solving…  You “narrowcast” them to your targeted audience and archive them for on-demand listening. With that you can leverage:

The Relationship Effect:  The focused one-on-one attention of an interview grabs a lot more of the interviewee’s mind share for you – and for the long term.

The Celebrity Effect:  What an awesome way to recognize folks for good work!  Put ’em on a pedestal – on the radio – to share their stories.

The Reference Effect:  A fellow distributor has more credibility than you do when talking about how to get more value from repping for you.

The Networking Effect:  distributors want to get to know each other more than they want to get to know you.  You, grab more mind share by facilitating that networking and knowledge sharing.

The Social Effect:  A dialogue is always more compelling than a one-way monologue.

Re-usability:  Much (if not most) of the interview content will also be relevant to customers.

So by all means continue with the webinars and videos.  But also break out from the pack and really capture the attention of those reps and distributors.  Interview ’em and share the share their wisdom far and wide.  Hmmmmmmm…   I wonder if interviewing customers on a talk radio show would build relationships and grow mind share with them too…

About Todd Youngblood

Clients value Todd Youngblood because he learns quickly and believes in rapidly and widely sharing everything he knows. Combined with thirty plus successful years in sales and marketing, these traits and experience are highly valued by sales executives. His education continues…