Monday, December 21, 2009

Four Questions for Dealers (Sales Channel) to Answer

If you're a dealer or the sales channel (distributor, rep or agent) for at least one manufacturer, here are four questions to answer:

1) Are you entrepreneurial? Believe it or not, many dealers struggle with this. Yet, the primary reason a manufacturer links up with a dealer is that dealer is supposed to be entrepreneurial, to want to sell, grow business, expand, etc. The best dealers are hungry, they're looking for more business, they know they're customers, they have a long-term view and they take their business personally. That stuff is impossible for a behemoth manufacturer. Don't become them.

2) Is your staff a bunch of order-takers or order-makers? Not just your sales staff, but your service staff--are they looking to grow business or are they sitting around waiting for it to come to them?

3) How well-trained is your staff? Today it's easy to be trained. The manufacturer offers it. There are plenty of outlets offering training. Your staff must be experts. They must know significantly more than today's Internet savvy customer or they render your dealership useless.

4) Do you "own" the customer or do the brands they buy from you "own" them? If you merely represent and sell brands that customers want, what is your value? If, on the other hand, the customer loves and trusts you and will consider any brand you represent, that's a totally different story. You have value, you have security and no doubt you will prosper.

A sales channel that is entrepreneurial, expertly trained, that generates business and has customer loyalty is extraordinarily valuable--not only to the customer but to the manufacturer. And, BTW, it's also highly profitable.

Barry LaBov
LaBov and Beyond

No comments:

Post a Comment