The Essential Series

5 Fundamentals

A series of FIVE 90 minute webinars designed to change your thinking, provide real tools to use and concepts to apply as manager of the distribution business at the market level.


Most enjoyable Workshop Jim!! Looking forward to seeing you in another Workshop soon!
Jim Ambrose Workshops

Jim's Blog

Posts for Tag: busines to business selling

Is your "specialist" doing any real selling?

May 7, 2018

The specialist is the person that is assigned to a certain product group.  The term most often used to describe the job is he or she “supports” that product in your business. 

Why do we need specialists?

The manufacturer may require the wholesaler have the specialist (s) to “support” the product, or the collective voice of the salespeople strongly suggested they needed help selling the product line, or a relative needed a job so a specialist role was created.     I want to provide thoughts on the first two reasons.

The first important change to make is to delete the word “support” from the job description.  If that is how that person thinks of himself as to his role in the business then you should have a discussion to change it.

A support role implies a more reactive approach to assisting and helping where necessary or when asked.   This should not be a reactive role but a pro-active selling role.

If the manufacturer you represent requires “specialist” then certainly hire the required number.   But, change their job description from “supporting the product line to product managers.   Charge them with being responsible for the total sales of their product group.  They also should spend most of their time in front of the best share gain  potential customers, not answering phone calls as an inside tech support person. 

They should be trained in selling skills and be expected to make solo customer sales calls.  Too often these folks complain about the sales people not including them for joint sales calls.   That is a very bad thing if that is the reason they are not out in front of customers.  They should not need the salesperson to "take them in."

In addition to making them responsible as product managers, they must be included in all products training sessions in the company and be reasonably competent to see, discuss and qualify potential opportunities across the distributor’s product offering.  Why not?  They are a key part of your selling arsenal, and they certainly have a little extra time in every sales call to look around  and mention a few other things on the call.

Now you have terrific sales productivity.  Because of this person’s special knowledge in the product they often can get deep into a customer’s business as the technical expert.    With this special engagement going on their Call Packet should have a few items on it that opens up opportunities for the total business.    If you do not know about working a Call Packet in a customer engagement, please read Cracking Accounts.   You can find it and buy it right here on the website, or go to


Jim Ambrose

Selling Skills 1

April 25, 2018

Cracking an account in the wholesale business-to-business market place no longer is dependent on the sales-person building a "relationship" with the buyer.  No one has time for that.  The  typical technique  in the sales call is when the salesperson spends most of the time telling the customer all about the "value add" services the company can offer. Forget selling your value add. 

Instead understand what the buyer "values" in a supplier.  I call that doing a customer value audit.  More on that in a later blog.   Once you understand what the buyer values in supplier, decide if you want to provide it, and if you do, provide it perfectly.  

This technique is not the process of uncovering pain points,....instead you want to know what will make the buyer happy when dealing with suppliers.

In my book Cracking Accounts (published by JJ Ambrose, order through I explain creative ways to uncover the "customer value audit."


By the way, your relationship will grow with the buyer as you provide perfectly what the customer values. 

Jim Ambrose