In our ongoing customer experience series, we interview Jessica, Senior Territory Business Manager, U.S. Petcare, who supports companion animal customers in the southeastern Pennsylvania area.
1. You’ve been a sales rep for 11 years. What do you love most about your role?
I love the relationships I build with our veterinary customers and enjoy interacting with them. The veterinarians I’ve worked with over the years are very science-oriented, but often seek help on the business side, so being able to help them run a successful clinic or hospital is the most fun for me. It also builds trust as I partner with them to grow their business.
2. Can you share a unique challenge that one of your customers faced, and how you solved it?
A key challenge they are facing right now is the pressure of online pharmacies. Customers tell us that online retailers are selling pet medicines cheaper than they can buy it. With that in mind, we are putting more focus on helping our customers position the services they offer clients that they can’t find online, like injectibles such as Proheart® 12 (the once-yearly injection to prevent heartworm in dogs). So it’s important to sit down with our veterinary customers to work with them on pricing strategies and show them the profit margins they can make with our products. Proheart 12 comes at the perfect time as my veterinarians are feeling the pressure and we can deliver them a solution.
6. You see customers every day. One thing you’ve learned from them or what do they all have in common?
Recently my Area Business Manager, James, and I were in a business review meeting with a customer who told us, “I want you to know that while science is the most important factor in choosing a product, relationship plays a role in how I make decisions.” From my experience, customers want someone they can trust and delivers on what they say. As some customers may be introverted, it takes time to build that bond. But once you demonstrate that level of trust, it makes a huge difference in the relationship.
3. What's the best career advice you've ever received, and who gave it to you?
In my first job out of college, my boss ingrained that in me to always follow up on everything you promise to a customer. That’s always been my biggest commitment when I walk out of a client’s office, so I follow up within a day’s time. Once a customer sees that you’ve followed through, you’ve won their trust.
4. What advice would you give other field reps?
It takes time to get your footing so its important to find colleagues you rely on. Call them, ask them questions because you don’t know what you don’t know. You need to find a system that works for you to be successful – from how often you check your emails to when you make sales calls. I am always reaching out to other colleagues on my team, and James. They give me ideas I wouldn’t have thought of. So lean on your colleagues because they can help you be successful!