Sales Rep of the Year: Joe Habenschuss
Over the 30 years that Joe Habenschuss has been in sales (13 of those with Head), he’s seen trends come and go. But when it comes to finding what’s most effective for moving product from manufacturer, to retailer, to customer, he says there’s one constant that’s always at the top of the list: providing great customer service.
“Making appointments, showing up on time, responding to calls and emails promptly, responding to and handling complaints right away — it all separates good reps from bad reps, and customers appreciate that,” says Habenschuss, who is the Head Penn rep in South Florida. “Things like listening carefully and respectfully to customer issues are fundamentals that go a long way. The selling part is easy; it’s all the follow-up and everything after that’s more difficult.”
“Joe is a great blend of professionalism and hard work, combined with a personality that people gravitate to,” says Greg Mason, VP of sales and marketing for Head Penn. “Besides the great results, he’s just a pleasure to work with and a rep I’m proud to have on the team.” And for 2012, Habenschuss is RSI’s Sales Rep of the Year.
Habenschuss always keeps his accounts top of mind. “Retailers don’t like surprises,” he says. For instance, when items are discontinued, or new products come out, or there are price changes, he gets that information to retailers quickly. He also reminds accounts ahead of time when new product will ship, because sometimes they forget what they ordered.
While online sales have changed the retail playing field, Habenschuss believes specialty shops will survive. “They can not only compete on price, but also with in-person customer service that online vendors can’t provide.”
Tips for Success
- Retailers appreciate it if you can help them move older inventory to make room for new product. Habenschuss does what he can to help his accounts, often trading older merchandise with other accounts that can use it.
- Top pros, like Head players Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova, help sell racquets. Use all the tools.
- Take the time to listen to what your accounts are telling you — about their shoppers, about your products, about marketing, etc.
See all articles by Cynthia Sherman
About the Author
Cynthia Sherman is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.