A quality manufacturer’s representative should be much more than someone who has a warm smile and the ability to provide you (the client) with a quick price quote.
A truly impactful manufacturer’s rep must be a well-rounded, dependable, and knowledgeable liaison between you and the company manufacturing the equipment you wish to purchase. Reps must strike the perfect balance between your needs as a client and the manufacturer’s needs. This applies across all industries, but even more so when dealing with laboratory equipment — no matter if it’s simple supplies or something complicated like autoclaves.
The best reps are able to provide guidance on many aspects of the equipment including market trends, technology, operation, application, and layout within the lab.
If you’re considering investing in laboratory equipment through a manufacturer’s rep, it’s important to ask yourself these key questions first:
- Is my manufacturer’s rep a good listener?
Fact finding is a major part of a manufacturer’s rep’s job. Not only does it allow them the opportunity to learn more about you, it also enables them to make an educated recommendation as to which product makes the most sense for your lab.
A good way to determine if your rep is a good listener is to notice if he or she asks a lot of questions. Remember, your rep should be a problem solver and in order to solve problems it’s important to ask the right questions. A good manufacturer’s rep knows the market and therefore should know the right questions to ask to solve your challenges.
- Is my manufacturer’s rep task oriented?
While communication is key, so too is the execution of tasks throughout the client-rep partnership. A quality rep should be able to coordinate the sales process in such a way that you end up feeling positive about your experience. This means your rep should be on top of everything, including events that occur after the equipment has been ordered. For example, the rep should:
- Coordinate with manufacturers production schedule to help ensure timely shipment and deliveries.
- Escalate any expedition requests with manufacturer in special circumstances and whenever possible.
- Educate customer and facilities to ensure all utilities are available prior to installation.
- Work with contractors and subcontractors to expedite equipment delivery and site access.
- Verify the equipment is fully operational and performing to the customers’ expectations.
- Will my manufacturer’s rep be there for me when I need them?
Too often the client is forgotten once the equipment has arrived and has been installed. A good manufacturer’s rep should recognize that their client’s ownership experience is an important part of the overall business transaction — even years after closing the original sale.
An attentive rep will stay in touch well after installation to determine the following:
- Equipment continues to operate correctly.
- Employees/technicians are properly trained to handle equipment.
- Whether changes in facility layout/workflow will impact equipment in the future
Your buying experience should be positive
Spending money is easy. Creating a positive experience for someone who is spending their hard-earned dollars is the hard part. A quality manufacturer’s rep should help alleviate the pain, worries, or anxiety from the buying process and create an experience worth repeating.
At ARES Scientific our goal is to identify and deliver the most innovative, sustainable and value-based technology solutions to the Scientific Research Community and Patient Care Facilities. Our consultative representatives understand what it means to be a good manufacturing rep — often going above and beyond to ensure a customer’s buying experience is a positive one. Contact us today to learn more about our unique approach to the sales process.
Arthur Trapotsis is the President and CEO of Consolidated Sterilizer Systems. Arthur is an engineering leader in the steam sterilizer industry and has presented at conferences around the U.S., promoting “green” autoclave design features as well as emerging trends in the steam sterilizer market.