I have a few vendors who aren’t really doing anything wrong but I am just bored with their portfolios and their average service. These folks simply aren’t doing anything interesting in terms of product mix and service. I don’t dislike these folks. Street sales is a tough occupation and I don’t want the sales people to lose commissions. On the other hand, I am tired of working with them. I have been in a few situations where I simply “fired” the sales rep and told them to stop calling on me. That’s not the case here. I am not upset with these salespeople, I just want to move on. This does not sound unusual, it probably happens in all kinds of businesses. What has anyone else done in this situation?
Yes. Have you spoken to that person’s supervisor yet?
There may be a route swap they could enact that would be equitable to the salespeople while bringing you a new rep.
It’s your business. If you’re not getting what you need from the relationship I don’t think you should feel badly about ending it. If the supplier makes positive changes you can always go back.
If you are truly bored with their portfolio, it doesn’t sound like it’s an issue with the individual sales rep. They could send you a different rep, but won’t you still be bored with their underlying portfolio?
Not every distributor/wholesaler has a portfolio that “works” with what every retailer needs.
We watch product switch from distributor to distributor all the time. Last year, we had a 25 case allocation of Wine A and 5 case allocation of their high end Wine A+. It changed distributors. When our “new” rep showed up, Carrie told her to send half our allocation now and the other half in one month. The new rep told Carrie she couldn’t have any of the wine because we don’t purchase enough other wines in their portfolio. I can’t repeat what was said as Carrie escorted the rep out the door.
Escorted, stuck broom in nether regions and propelled to door?
Yeah, that pretty much described it.
In my admittedly brief experience as a rep, I find nothing cures boredom like a product with a good margin that really moves off the shelf.
I was NEVER bored by that!
I once had a rep who could not answer a question about a wine she was pouring me unless she read it verbatim from her book. This went on for several months and because i didn’t see her that often, I thought she would have gotten better on her own. To me, it was like nails on a chalkboard. I finally explained to her that she could improve how she interacted with accounts by being more conversant with what she represented. She appreciated it and worked hard to improve.
Another was a new rep who I had just one meeting with before I discovered he was saying derogatory, insulting things about me at a private party we were both attending. I called his boss the next day and asked for a meeting with both of them and at the conclusion requested a new rep. The next day he barges in my private office and interrupts a meeting. Had to tell him in no uncertain terms to get out and don’t come back.
Another time I was buying a wine in 5 or 10 case drops because customers loved it. Suddenly I was told by the rep that I now needed to buy 5 cases of something else to get three of the other. Big black mark in my book for that kind of behavior. Refused to ever taste any of the producer’s wine again. Which reminds me… I had a customer call to order a couple cases of wine I didn’t like much but I still called the winery to order it in. The proprietor got on the phone and drug their feet, ticked off that I didn’t want to carry the wine. I told them I didn’t like it and was only requesting it for a client. After several minutes of this BS, I told her that I would send her the contact info for the customer, she could call him, and btw. Stay out of my store.