Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Corporate and dealer relationships in a recession?

We all know there is a recession going on, but the aftermath of it will be felt in the relationships that dealers have with the manufacturers they represent.

Most manufacturers have reduced their sales force, which means that fewer of their people are spending less time developing relationships and business with the dealers. If the manufacturers don't overcome this, then dealers will look elsewhere to make money - they'll turn to the companies that spend time with them or the products that are easiest to sell.

The answer is to 1) increase the sales force (not likely); 2) focus on the top dealers and drop the rest; or, 3) develop alternative tools to engage the dealer such as online training or specialist programs designed to reward the dealer focusing only on your product and not the competition.

Once the economic recession starts to subside, there will be a relationship recession that will have to be overcome - unless you're one of the few that avoids it.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

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