Sioux Chief, a producer of American-made rough plumbing products, recently hosted two training sessions for new representative agencies and new sales members to existing representative agencies.
"Our goal is to provide product knowledge, and features and benefits, so reps can present products to a contractor, wholesaler and engineer. All the different levels of customers that a rep would call on, we show them all of those sales scenarios," said Michael Foster, Director of National Sales at Sioux Chief. "We open their eyes and ignite their energy and confidence so they're better prepared to talk to customers and promote those products."
Rep training is a chance for Sioux Chief to teach, but the presenters also enjoy the opportunity to listen and learn from the reps.
"The veterans tell how they've been selling products for the last 10 years and where the success is," said Foster. "There are things you can pick up on and sharing ideas back and forth between our reps is what we want to happen."
A big hit in this year's rep training was the hands-on training. During these sessions, reps performed installations themselves and approached the product from the contractor's position. "There's a lot of enthusiasm and live demos where the reps are required to do hands-on installations of certain products," said Foster. "That makes a big difference."
Although there is a lot of teaching and learning going on, the training sessions are not all work. Foster says it is also a chance for the reps to meet the Sioux Chief teams they work far away from and have a chance to connect on a personal level. "It's great because a lot of internal people get involved, from customer service to inside and outside sales to ownership," he said. "To some degree, we're all involved in the training, the personal time and the relationship strengthening."