Dealers and Distributors are Equally Important to Success
Building relationships is a very important part of running a successful business. As a supplier, building rapport with your clients is crucial. In fact, knowing how to maintain healthy relationships with your employees, customers, suppliers and distributors is a major key to success.
The bottom line: If you want your dealers and distributors to sell your products and become loyal advocates for your brand, you must help them be successful. You must provide them with mutually beneficial tools and resources that help them become stronger business people, more knowledgeable brand experts and better sellers. Without distributors, your product will not make it to the customer, and without the customer there’s no profit. Without profit your business cannot thrive and you get the general picture! In short, dealers and distributors are incredibly important to your success. But they haven’t always been treated that way. These two groups provide that personal relationship that builds loyal customers and, ultimately, increases sales. So, what are the best practices in building and keeping your relationships strong between distributors and clients?
Get to know your audience.This means meet with your distributors in person. While telephone and email can be effective means of communication, they also can be misread or misunderstood. Schedule a time to have face-to-face meetings with your distributors. Doing this sends a very strong message that they are important to you and your company.
Communication with distributors.Once you have established rapport with your distributors, keep it open by checking on them periodically. While technology makes this even easier today, clients still like to hear your voice. You can also use this time to tell clients what is trending in the industry and how they can take advantage of product sales.
Take part in client meetings.Don’t hesitate to get involved. Your presence in your client’s meetings provides the opportunity for you to give advice on their displays and marketing.
Offer training and production education.Successful dealers and distributors need up-to-date product information along with training opportunities. Proactive manufacturers will offer ongoing product, sales, and service training along with business management and skills training. When clients have the last information, they can make wiser decisions and more frequent ones, too.
Attend events sponsored by your distributors.Your presence shows clients that you support their business. Plus, it is an excellent opportunity for networking.
Together, dealers and distributors can form a strong marketing approach. Actually, your own marketing team has the ability to improve and strengthen the relationship with your dealer/distributor network by understanding their needs and challenges, offering regular communication, providing valuable training and educational opportunities, creating useful business tools, and listening for their input and opinions. Investing in your dealer/distributor marketing pays off. It is not just a smart decision; it’s the only decision your company can make, especially if you want to remain viable and competitive in today’s fast-paced, changing world.