If you’re a sales rep for a wine wholesaler, and you are taking over an established territory or getting somebody else’s old accounts, there are three scenarios you’ll run into. No more, no less.
- “She didn’t show up much.” The person you’re replacing didn’t do a good job, didn’t show up, didn’t deliver, stained the name of the company you are working for. Result: nowhere to go but up, easy to repair, time to mend those wounds and look like a superstar. They key: for three months show up, work harder, extend ideas, say yes.
- “She was pretty good and we’re going to miss her.” The person you’re replacing did a satisfactory job, nothing special but nothing wrong. Result: you have the opportunity, simply by showing up often for the next few months, of out-performing the person you are replacing. This is not a tough formula, just takes time and some perseverance.
- “She was a superstar, the best sales rep I’ve ever had.” The person you’re replacing was considered a god amongst sales reps, and outperformed all others in various ways. Result: there are two main things. One, you have a large established business with good placements to keep secure. Two, you can tell the buyer at that account “That’s awesome, tell me what she did so well and let me challenge myself to be even better. Though I’ll never replace her, I bet I can come close.”
No matter what, when you take over an account or a territory, you have the opportunity to win.
But you have to choose to do it, and do it customized per account. One tool doesn’t work to build your new world … you need the whole toolbox and know what tools to use and when.