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By: Greg Carter | G+

Electrical Wholesaling: Experience on the Front Lines

OEMs and electrical wholesalers often train new hires in non-sales related functions in one to two week stints with inside and outside sales groups. This familiarizes them with product lines, customer service and resourcefulness in satisfying the customer.

Cross Referencing: Getting To Yes

Salespersons are trained to cross-reference their products to an item that is in stock and equivalent to what the customer requests. The training usually includes “Getting to Yes”, a reference to the title of a book on the art of negotiating published in 1981. Great salespeople are good at cross-referencing, and are often rewarded with higher commissions or base salaries. In 2007, TED magazine profiled distributors and reported that 30% of electrical distributors were not considered successful at substituting brand requests.

Retention: The End Game

The first few interactions with a new customer are the hardest to earn trust. Gaining customer confidence usually comes down to executing three events: items are pulled from stock correctly, the purchase order is received and entered correctly, and the shipment or delivery truck reaches the dock on time. Repeat these events a few times and enough trust is earned for the customer to be open to cross-referencing or product substitution.

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Related Article: see TED Magazine Electrical Wholesaling Distributor article.

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