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How Your Key Account Representative Could Earn You Millions

Who are you putting in front of your customers? 

Do you really know the person who represents your company? 

On today’s episode, Quinn and Kinsley discuss the person of the key account representative. The one person who could earn you (or cost you) millions.  They address what a business may need in their rep and how that need may differ from what buyers want from the rep, and ultimately, how the rep can affect the downline in how the RSA can sell the product or service.

Big Takeaway: The guys discuss the ultimate character qualities and expand on a job description necessity of the Key Account Rep:

1) Understanding:  Does your account representative understand exactly what the end user needs or are they just trying to peddle to anyone with a check book?

2) Humility: People want to make a genuine connection with their account representative. Those who are only talking to you in order to earn a quick buck are easy to spot and are the biggest turn off.

3) Research: Have your account representative look up a client before the meeting. This act isn’t disingenuous. Researching the client before a meeting can show effort and respect before a dollar is ever earned and helps determine whether the product or service will best serve the customer.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Mark Kinsley 

news. It is the dose Marco show what is the job of your key account? Rep. It is not what you think the dose Marcos show begins right now. Welcome to the dose Marco show.

With Mark Kinsley and mark when we’re mattress and furniture leaders gathered to grow, get the inside scoop, tell stories and take tequila shots. The galaxy’s greatest mattress podcast has lifted off

Mark Kinsley 

Welcome to the DOS Marco show. I’m Mark Kinsley, this is Mark, when we’re talking about your key attract, check out rep. I was just wrapping they’re doing some beatbox. And as I get started, when you think about my shirt when

Mark Quinn 

I think it’s beautiful, it looks like my box.

Mark Kinsley 

Oh, yeah, keyed up over his right shoulder, he’s got a fam box where he used to have a hat in it. And I got one right here, too. Hey, we’re talking about key account reps, you’ve obviously taken on a new position and mattress firm, you’re seeing a lot of different parts of the industry in a new way. And with fresh eyes. First of all, for anybody that doesn’t know what a key account rep is, describe that, and talk about that role in that job?

Mark Quinn 

Well, I mean, basically, it’s Who are you putting in front of your customer? Right? And so it’s going to depend on you know, the customer, I suppose, and the size of that, but like, Who do you? Who’s your point person that’s coming in and calling on you? And what skills should they have? Right, because it’s been interesting, I’ve been able to, you know, I’ve met with a lot of companies now. And so it’s just interesting to see the different personalities and how they approach kind of selling, and all of that. So Mark, think of this, like, think about your time because you’re buying stuff at Englander, right? So Rachel, who now works for us was selling to you at some point, right? When When, when she was at a different place? What what do you think are the like, when you vote when someone’s coming at you to sell you stuff at England? Or like, what is it for you? That is the best part? Like, what do you like about them? Like when you say, Hey, man, that’s a homerun, that person does a kick ass job of representing themselves in their company to me, like, what is that? What does that skill set for you?

Mark Kinsley 

What do they need? First of all, it’s understanding my position and what my needs are. So that means asking really good open ended questions to see if even it’s a fit. I mean, I get so many random spam emails from people that are trying to sell stuff that I don’t even need, you know, and they don’t understand that is it a product that fits this person. And so in that situation is just, you know, you feel like you’re getting hen pecked to death. And beyond that, you want somebody that has a sense of humility, and somebody that actually wants to connect with you. So you can demonstrate that I think by by personalising your approach, you know, instead of making a spray and pray, it’s like, oh, I actually did some research on this person. Maybe in your case, it’s I watched your podcast and you reference something specific. Those type of approaches always get points with me, because I knew somebody took the time to care.

Mark Quinn 

Okay, so stay with that. I love what you just said. So how often is it that a salesperson comes in and just starts talking about the stuff that they’re good at? Or the great stuff their product as without really asking any questions at all?

Mark Kinsley 

I’m here to solve your business.

Mark Quinn 

I don’t know you, but you’re right. And you know, I think about the same thing like when on LinkedIn, when people like, you know, approach us or whatever it’s like, okay, so if they have taken five seconds to just go do a little bit, right, and they reference something in our profile, or they reference something on our show. I mean, it makes a big difference, right?

Mark Kinsley 

It makes a huge difference. I mean, because like I said, you took the time to care. You’re personalising in some way. You’re showing that maybe you’re part of this mattress industry community, which if anybody knows us, that’s important to me, that’s important to you. We want to create a fam, we talked about our industry, we talked about our jobs as family and that’s why we even named the media property at fam dot news, the fam, of course, it means furniture, appliances mattress, but it was all about creating a movement in in designing the industry that we wanted to be a part of. So I think if somebody recognises that, and they’re part of it, that of course goes a long way as well. And then there’s just a certain level of professionalism that I think matters, you know, you got to have the technical pieces of that the product knowledge, you got to be able to, you know, have a really tight sales pitch that you think would cascade all the way down to the RSA. And I think if you We’ll miss that as a key account rep, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Because when you come in to pitch this, you know, I’m automatically thinking, how is this going to fall out of the mouth of the RSA and stick with the consumer, I had this this moment, one time, you’re gonna love this. I had this moment, one time where I had three different people from a company. And I said, what this face change mean. And you would not believe how marbling mouth, everybody got the hem they hard, they disagreed, they had other opinions. And I had to figure out how to take all of this separate, distinct and unintelligible information and synthesise it into something meaningful that the consumer could hear and understand. But it surprised me that, you know, suppliers coming from the ticking side of the business, couldn’t say in a succinct way, what is phase change material? And I’m like, if you guys don’t know what it is, how is the consumer going to understand what it means for their sleep? Well, I

Mark Quinn 

know you’re not talking about cope, because they know how to simplify stuff those guys can sell. Right? Absolutely. Okay, so, alright, so for me, like, I’m with you. I think all that’s so true. Another couple of things to add, you know, like, their ability to present information, awesome. Their graphics, when they come in to, you know, make their products come to life great. Like if they can do that stuff. Well, which by the way, not many people do. But if they can do that stuff, well, like big check marks for them. Right? If they are. Let’s see another one. They come in and they have good dance moves. Good dance moves are important, I think definitely. But like it. So here’s here’s the unexpected part of it is Randy Kunkel told me when I first got into this industry is probably my second year in the business. So he was training me and he’s with temper Sealy out of Houston. And anyway, so here’s one of my first, like, you know, mentors, essentially, he said, Quinn, just beat a man can just beat a man, that’s all you got to do, you know, show up when you’re supposed to show up, return phone calls, when people ask you for stuff, send it to them. If you tell them you’re going to send stuff sent like it is the most basic simple things, don’t make people chase you down for information, be responsive to them. And so it reduces their frustration. It reduces the effort they have to make, right? And so I love it when like people, like try to figure out ways how to make your life easier, right? Because here’s table stakes product has to kick ass. Pricing has to be great. You know, demonstrable it. Like there’s certain things that you just got to have, right? You know, you have to be able to service them, you know, all of those things. But the intangibles are what matter? Right? It’s like, are they pleasant to be around you like them as a human being? Are they confrontational with you? Are they willing to sit like, do they have that servant’s heart? Or hey, man, I’m here, like, what can we do? Like? Are they pushing you a little bit? Are you having to, you know, are you having to pull them through? Or are they saying, hey, what about this? And what about this? And what about this? Like, how often is that stuff happening? Because isn’t that like so big? If you just got the basic the basics of that, right? Like, I think that for me? That’s so much of it?

Mark Kinsley 

Yes, yes. Yes, yes. All right, preach, preach, preach. Well, and sometimes, you know, just the lack, I think you’re kind of putting a bow around this idea of do what you say you’re going to do, and be an effective communicator. And an effective communicator first listens and understands. And then you follow through, you do what you’re going to say, you say you’re going to do, and you’re able to clarify your message in a way that it’s going to benefit all the people underneath you, as a buyer, for example, that need to sell this product need to pitch it need to promote it internally. And I’m always just shocked at the lack of effort that goes into that piece of the puzzle as well. And like we’ve talked about in the past our essays, Frontline, you got to keep it simple. That’s what we get asked for all the time, even in England or like you got to keep it simple. And what I found is simple isn’t always easy to get to. So do the hard work to simplify. It’s I think it’s attributed to Mark Twain but he said I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have time.

Mark Quinn 

Yes. Oh, no. So true on that simplicity is not easy. And it’s yeah, it’s a very difficult thing to get to. I guess the only last comment I would make mark is don’t be full of shit. Right? So people come in and they want to make claims that they can’t substantiate or Order, they want to talk trash about the competition. Both are huge mistakes when you’re dealing with customers. And I think they’re made quite frequently. Keep it real, be authentic, don’t oversell it Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t take shots at your competition, it’s not cool. And it really, you know, it doesn’t serve you, you have so much to say about your own stuff. Stay tight on that, right.

Mark Kinsley 

And if you don’t have something to say about your own stuff, you should figure that out. And, you know, I remember whenever we were back in Leggett days, and this, there’s a principle in here that ties to what you just said about not not talking trash, about the competition, and also understanding your audience in the selling environment. So if you’re your mattress firm, so if you’re going into Mattress Firm, understanding their floor understanding sales process, understanding, merchandising, and one of the things I remember is, you know, we’re going in, and we’re trying to promote this idea of active edge products, you know, so narrow diameter coils all the way to the edge, which effectively replaced foam and casement but for a long time, salespeople wanted to sell foam encasement. And they treated that as a big benefit to the consumer, and they would put their hand on the side of it. So we had to figure out a way to position it. So that we weren’t talking badly about foam encasement. But we were talking positively about the properties of an active edge product. And that was like a little nuance I remember learning kind of early on was nobody wants to lose a sale, because they were promoting one technology or comfort layer or component over another and talking badly about that other components. So you as a merchandiser are thinking that way, if you’re selling a product, or if you’re selling a component, you want to talk about the benefits, and maybe it’s a step up story, maybe you get more of this, or maybe it’s an enhanced version of this, or this is the premium. But you’re never saying This is awful. And this is great. So I think that’s a great mentality to bring to the table as well.

Mark Quinn 

I agree. And the only exception to it is when TempurPedic and Sleep Number did it, they attacked innerspring. And the only reason it worked is because they had $100 million ad budget to support it. So if you’re going to talk shit, just make sure you have a big enough club to handle the competition when they don’t like it.

Mark Kinsley 

There is that angle. I don’t want to discount the fact that if you got a bunch of money, you could swing that money right at their face and knock them out

Mark Quinn 

money with them. There’s always an exception. Everybody listening to this, we appreciate you guys more than you know really we do. Thanks for listening, share it with people because it’s important man. We want to bring people around the table or the campfire as we like to say and go out Spotify, iTunes, wherever you are and give us a rating because we are needy. We’re just needy. Inflation is expensive right now we need more reviews to be able to pay for milk. Yeah,

Mark Kinsley 

we need about 9% More reviews just to keep up with inflation. So if you could just give us a few stars that would help

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