Like everyone, my professional life is surrounded by emails, texts, meeting requests, tweets, blogs, newsletters, not to mention phone calls from robots, making travel plans, political solicitations, fundraisers, marketing flyers, market research, and Mom. It’s truly hard to know what’s an important message or what’s not. Even your refrigerator can send you information, so it’s easy to understand how important opportunities can get overlooked.
The dealers I support go through the same challenges every day. Compounding matters, they exist in a highly competitive marketplace from local and global players, online retailers, and others expanding into their space. This is the backdrop, and why my dealers are looking to manufacturers and rep groups to bring an edge, something new and exciting that can generate growth.
This means meetings – lots of meetings. Unfortunately, rather than present new growth opportunities, most only offer newer versions of what they already have. Dealers kindly sit through their 20th lunch and learn of the month, eat yet another turkey sandwich, and fully intend to “get back with them soon.” Even presentations can taste like spam.
I take a different approach.
To me, relevant category insight and high-quality, innovative products are vital to selling a solution. Add-in deep experience and an ability to relate to their challenges and the requirements of the end-user customer, and you now have their trust. When I bring my satchel of information and solutions to a meeting, dealers know we’ll create many viable options that will move the needle. As I see it, the solution had been there the whole time — it’s just the formula had not yet been revealed. By working collaboratively, we always find something the dealers’ salespeople can present that appears truly customized to them.
Best yet, this approach makes people look forward to our meetings.Whether it’s purchasing, the sales manager, field reps, or the owner, all pay attention as they know I won’t waste their time with unimportant topics or opportunities. That’s half the battle. Part marketer, part salesperson, part scientist. Consultative expertise coupled with great brands, an expansive product line, and marketing savvy can unearth fantastic opportunity. And let’s face it, if my dealers are selling more and I helped them do that, I am proud, satisfied, and rewarded.
Laughter and lifelong friendships help too.