I think that one of the major reasons that both our business grew so quickly was the emphasis that we placed on helping our customers to resell not only our products, but also to sell their services to their customers. And I still firmly believe that concentrating on helping your customers sell more, is still one of the best ways to improve your sales.
One of the things that we did was to use a strategy called “co-op marketing” – we helped our dealers, distributors, retailers and accounts sell more to their own database of names.
So how does the strategy work ?
Help Your Customers Sell More to Their Customers
With a co-op marketing program, you put up promotional items and/or bonuses that help your accounts sell more to their end users.
While your first reaction might be that co-op advertising is too complicated for your small business, rest assured that it doesn’t need to be. In fact, you can create a simple program that’s easy to manage and low-cost, too.
Start by surveying your dealers and distributors with the message that you want to help them sell more. You can start by surveying your least active accounts first. Ask them what they need in order to sell more of your products and services:
- Do they need training, stand-up displays, special incentives for their sales force?
- Do they need a smaller sized package, different case quantities, or a different bundle of services than you offer?
Based on the answers you get, you can offer to deliver on their requests if a dealer will present a special offer to their customers. What you’ll create is a true co-op program — meaning that both of you must take action.
A word of warning though , some of your dealers might want cash rebates made directly to dealers. Or they may ask for manufacturer’s discounts, that are then rebated to the stores selling the product. Avoid these cash giveaways. You will be better off Investigating other ways to sell your products and services instead.
[reminder]What can you do today to create more sales for your customers?[/reminder]