Our second installment in the two-part series introduces our partnership with Joe Gillis of Innovate Sales. Gillis is an independent manufacturer’s representative who works with a team of sales professionals to bring big value to his customers. He crossed paths with iCONN 10 years ago when working for a different rep firm.
Fast forward to 2016. Gillis and iCONN crossed paths again and the timing was perfect. iCONN was searching for representation and Gillis was a promising match. The rest (as they say) is history.
Gillis & iCONN Systems
Gillis serves OEMs in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, western Wisconsin and parts of Iowa. His job is to be on the constant lookout for new business opportunities and to convert those opportunities into purchase orders for his line card partners. But with his reputation and success at stake, he is very selective about the organizations he is willing to promote.
“We’re only as good as the companies we represent,” Gillis explained. “If the lines we sell don’t perform well, we might damage our relationship with our customer, and this can impact other lines that we’re promoting.”
According to Gillis, iCONN is the type of line that makes life easier. He had several reasons to back up this claim:
1. iCONN puts the customer first. Gillis explained that iCONN genuinely works to make things easy for the customer, and it shows in the level and quality of service the company provides.
2. Promoting iCONN is fulfilling work. Instead of showcasing products to the customer, Gillis gets to help them find solutions to their problems. He sits down with the customer, listens to their pain points and collects as much information as he can. Then he relays this information back to iCONN, which will customize a solution to address each problem.
3. iCONN is incredibly fast and responsive. Custom solutions can take months to develop. According to Gillis, iCONN does it in a week or two. They solve every problem, provide a detailed estimate and even produce a 3D-printed sample to clearly illustrate the value and efficacy of the solution they have created for the customer.
4. iCONN fully supports Gillis’ team. “We know they’re going to do everything in their power to help us land each prospect we target,” Gillis explained. “iCONN doesn’t micro-manage our process. They complement it by making themselves available and, if needed, visible to the customer.”
5. iCONN is fun to work with. Gillis described his partnership with iCONN as friendly and open. The teams genuinely enjoy the business aspect, but they also know how to balance business with fun. Their line of communication is consistent and honest, which enables them to collaborate seamlessly to deliver quick, high-quality solutions.
“It’s like we’re growing the business together,” said Gillis. “We set goals along the way, and we celebrate as one team when we succeed in reaching them. It’s the type of partnership that makes you want to work hard for one another.”
6. iCONN creates opportunities for Gillis’ other lines. When a manufacturing sales rep has a line like iCONN, it opens doors for their other lines. Gillis said that customers are more inclined to trust his judgment and guidance because they had a positive experience. They’re also more willing to talk and entertain the idea of other products.
“My hope is that it’s a piggyback effect,” said Gillis. “They had a positive experience working with iCONN, so they’re more apt to talk to us about some of the other things we offer, too.”
7. iCONN builds long-term customers. For Gillis and his team, this is a huge advantage. There’s nothing better in sales than strong customer relationships that last.
Gillis explained that iCONN can deliver this level of support because it has the quality systems in place, the engineering expertise and the customer-centric mindset. He waited 10 years to promote iCONN’s exceptional line, and the future looks bright for both teams.
Learn more about what iCONN can do for your company — request a consultation today!