Best Practices: Co-Presenting With Reps, How Do I Find My Tribe
Mpowered Podcast, Episode 26 Show Notes
Welcome to Mpowered, the podcast brought to you by Material Bank and created by ThinkLab.
In this bite-sized episode, we tackle the question “Best practices: co-presenting with reps, how do I find my tribe?” Hosts Erica Waayenberg and Amanda Schneider discuss the best ways to collaborate with other reps and what you need to know as you find trusted partners to work with.
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Welcome to Mpowered, the podcast brought to you by Material Bank and created by ThinkLab. Consider this your new weekly dose of bite-sized, actionable insights to help you succeed as a B2B rep. I’m this week’s host, Erica Waayenberg, head of research and content at ThinkLab.
We’ll be answering one key question each week, many of them submitted by you. Want to join in? We’ll share details about how to submit your question at the end of this episode.
Our question this week: Co-presenting with other reps: How do I find my tribe?
I’ve invited my colleague, Amanda Schneider, to join me today. Amanda and I both share a background in design, and have also spent a portion of our careers as A&D reps.
Amanda, I know you talk to A&D reps regularly as part of ThinkLab’s research. Can you share a bit about why finding a co-presenter can be even more advantageous today than it was in the past?
Amanda Schneider: Absolutely. ThinkLab insights tell us that presentations that were historically given a one-hour time slot within the design firm now get 15 minutes. Architects and designers are looking to make the most of their in-person office hours and are pushing reps to be succinct and impactful with their time. So, if 15 minutes is the new hour, creating twice the draw will help to maximize your presentation’s attendance and reach.
Erica: As I hinted at, a team presenting alongside another rep is certainly not new to our industry. But the partnership does need to be strategic. So who makes the most sense to seek out as your partner in crime? Let’s look at a few simple steps to get you started.
Finding other reps to work with requires a bit of research and investigation — just like finding the right firms to call on. Amanda, why don’t you kick us off with where reps should begin?
Amanda: Step one is getting involved and finding others that are putting forth that kind of effort as well. Try attending networking events and getting involved in local industry chapters, as well as taking note of which brands and reps appear to be most active in the design community — it can be a good indicator of those who are also very proactive within their firms.
Next, I’d suggest, do a bit of recon and ask trusted designers and architects who their go-to reps are for any given product category. If your brand sells flooring, maybe consider asking who their best textile reps are. Find a product category that complements your own, and see if you’re getting consistent feedback about who in your market is seen as a reliable go-to source.
Erica: Once you’ve taken the time to do your research, it’s time to reach out and have a conversation. Meet up or schedule some time to talk. Share with them your goals for creating a partnership for co-presenting, in order to drive more A&D attendance to your presentations by giving them two-for-one content.
Amanda: I agree. And then, if it feels like a good fit, I’d say take the next step to create an outreach strategy. Compare the firms where you overlap, and look at where you can benefit each other, by providing introductions to one firm or another that you or your partner may not have great traction at just yet.
Leveraging each other’s networks and relationships can extend both of your reach and impact, as well as lighten the load of outreach, hospitality planning, and event hosting. From our experience, it can also make the day-to-day more fun!
You might also consider expanding product categories to create a small, formal leads group. This can be an incredible time-saver to share insights across product categories and functions.
Erica: Thriving as a B2B rep has never been without its challenges, and the challenges of today necessitate a new look at strategy for approaching the A&D community. We hope this inspires you to go out and find a partner or two that you can divide and conquer with, and make the most of your in-firm meetings and presentations.
Thank you for listening in. Follow this podcast, and listen in each week for more tips and tidbits to help you succeed as a B2B rep.
If you have a question or topic you’d like for us to tackle on air, we would love to hear from you. Simply direct message Material Bank on Instagram, or leave a comment on LinkedIn with your question or success story. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even feature you on the show.
Special thanks to Material Bank for partnering with us to provide bite-size, valuable insights for B2B reps in the interior design industry.