Let us presume that up to now, you as a semiconductor equipment or material supplier company, have done everything right to choose, motivate, train and work with your designated rep for a particular territory. The rep is now beating the bushes in the territory to get your product installed, right?
What many of us fail to realize is that at this point, this rep and his/her employees are investing in your firm. The work in a territory that is not yet mature is known as "prospecting and mining. "The rep doesn't get paid for "prospecting and mining" . . . only for completed sales. The time and expenses to land that all important first sale is pure direct investment on the part of the rep. If this "prospecting and mining" does not go well at first, or if the principle fails to support the rep early on, the rep company is likely to drop the effort or scale it back quickly.
This presents another problem for the principle. How can a principle tell that the rep has lost confidence or interest in their product? If the rep is tricky, they can hide this "slow down" very well. The rep may think to himself, "I can't afford to spend any more time on this line, but I don't want to lose it in case an order comes into the territory." 'Therefore, a significant amount of time (and lost sales) can pass under the bridge before the principle wakes up to the problem.
To recognize a rep "slow down" on their line, the principle looks for several warning signals:
When a principle realizes that the effort is softening on the part of the rep, several options are available:
In Part 3 you will find: take a new route, when is the right or wrong time to "go direct," and your common mistakes that drive reps nuts.