Where Do I Begin As An A&D Rep?
Mpowered Podcast, Episode 14 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, “Where do I begin as an A&D rep?” Host Erica Waayenberg, head of research and content at ThinkLab, gives you major tips on how you as a rep can research firms, tailor your pitch and align your product, and track your engagement with your list of firms.
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If you have a question or topic you’d like us to tackle on air, we’d love to hear from you. Simply direct-message Material Bank on Instagram with your success story or question through the messaging function.
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: Where do I begin as an A&D rep?
The ThinkLab U.S.Design Industry Benchmark Report shows us that there are over 13,000 design firms in the United States. So, how do you know which ones to call on?
You can find opportunities at any firm, but tailoring your approach for each one is very important. To get you started, let’s discuss how you can research, tailor your pitch, and track your outreach and engagement with each firm.
First, do your research.
As a rep, it’s very important to know who you’re working with to make the best impression and form a solid relationship with them. Do online research to truly understand the structure of the firm and the types of services they offer. Also, look at the types of projects they’ve worked on, and learn their overall aesthetic by looking through their portfolio. When you, as a rep, meet those firms and are knowledgeable about them and their work, it shows them that you are truly invested.
Second, tailor your pitch for each firm, and align the product you’re presenting with what you learned from your online research.
Look at your product portfolio, and match the right products with the right firms. Most products are not one-size-fits-all and won’t fit with every firm and its aesthetic. For instance, don’t present healthcare products to a workplace studio. Presenting relevant products to a firm shows respect for their time. If a project is vague or broad, you can give a firm multiple product options, but do so in separate presentations or documents. Keep your presentations curated and focused, not overwhelming.
To track your progress and pivot efforts where needed, revisit your list of target firms every six months, and note the communication and engagement you’ve had with each firm. If there are some firms you’re getting greater traction with, then double down on those firms. On the flip side, if there are firms that are resistant to using your product, it’s OK to deprioritize those to free up more time where your efforts are more fruitful.
So, to drive home: If you do your research up front and track your impact at your target firms, you’ll be able to marry the right products to the right people, and then the right projects will come your way.
Thank you for listening in, and I invite you to listen in each week for more tips and tidbits to empower you as a rep.
If you want to learn more about target-rich areas for A&D firms, listen to our episode where we explore the question: “Where do designers live?”
If you have a question or topic you’d like for us to tackle on air, we’d love to hear from you. Simply direct message Material Bank on Instagram or LinkedIn. Drop us a note with your success story or question by clicking on the message button.
Special thanks to Material Bank for partnering with us to provide bite-size, valuable insights for B2B reps in the interior design industry.