Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Sales Channel: 5 New Rules for the Channel Itself

If you're a dealer, distributor or a rep for manufacturers, here are five rules to succeed in this economy:

1) Specialize. If you represent more than one brand, specialize. Have salespeople that are specialists in each brand, even if it's a small brand. This will increase your expertise and sales. Of course, you can allow each salesperson to sell any brand, but if you have go-to people for each brand, it will only help.

2) Forget. Forget there's a recession going on. Realize people are buying and competitors are selling product. Don't allow there to be a defeatist attitude in your operation,it will only reduce morale and sales.

3) Get in touch with your inner entrepreneur. Most small companies started out as entrepreneurial ventures. Over the years, and as generations have passed the company on, those companies lose that entrepreneurial edge. This is the time to do the aggressive things that just may move the needle. Why not? That's how great companies started.

4) Network. You're the sales channel, you're the one who knows the customer. Use that advantage, network with them daily. Use LinkedIn and other social media. Have your team join local business clubs, have your staff give speeches to local schools and organizations. Networking is practically free and it's one of your greatest advantages.

5) Pony Up. Your manufacturer is not perfect, but they are probably providing material, new product and maybe incentives to promote and sell their products. Step up and use what they give you, even if you have to tweak it to make it work. Don't be the distributor that sits on the sidelines and watches the game. Get in the game, promote the product, even if it's not your favorite and give all you have to making it succeed. You just may be surprised at the success.

LaBov & Beyond focuses only on the manufacturer-sales channel dynamic. Check out our sales channel blog, LaBov Sales Channel at labovsaleschannel.com

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond
LaBov Sales Channel
PB&J Newsletter

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