Recently, I attended a seminar on making the most of your time, and it got me thinking about the reps we as an industry employ and if they are making the most of YOUR time during their visits to your store. As the seminar moved on, the topic touched on an interesting concept: would customers be willing to pay for a visit from an account manager?...
Recently, I attended a seminar on making the most of your time, and it got me thinking about the reps we as an industry employ and if they are making the most of YOUR time during their visits to your store. As the seminar moved on, the topic touched on an interesting concept: would customers be willing to pay for a visit from an account manager?
As I dozed in and out of consciousness during the seminar, I dreamed of a land where every rep visit was valuable to you, the busy retailer. Let's dream together what that visit would look like.
What is your rep bringing you?
First, the rep shows up, on time, with an appointment. (I know... punctuality is a pet peeve of mine, too!) But, what if showing up wasn't enough? What if that rep also came with information that could help you make more money, e.g. some market trends, comparisons for your store vs. industry or regional averages, or even how you are doing vs. last year or last quarter by sku?
In a perfect world, every monthly visit would include the following items:
The rep would walk to the shelf, review current listings and face up the products. They would dust, rotate stock, review areas for improvement and talk to staff and customers to train them on the products.
On a monthly basis, you would receive business review information; info on sales, a high level overview of year-to-date sales vs. year-to-date last year vs. national growth for the supplier. This quickly tells you if you are putting the right resources behind brands that are growing or wasting energy on some dogs. Knowing this is extremely important as you place orders and create promotions.
Promotional information is the next key tool a rep should provide. Knowing what national programs are available for you to help drive foot traffic is an essential tool for growth. The rep should know what publications are featuring their product advertisements to help you capitalize on the vendor marketing initiatives.
Secondly, a data recap of past promotions in your store to see what actually increased sales would be helpful. This is also an opportunity to discuss upcoming store events and to present suggestions for secondary displays to help fuel growth.
Product presentations can be a confusing lot, and I will address this in another article. But a good rep will come prepared with sell sheets, sales projections, marketing plans and product knowledge. When done right, a good product presentation educates on trends, marketing support for the product, and gives you the tools to choose the right ones for your shelf.
If your rep doesn't provide a visit that is worth paying for, cut this article out, and mail it to their sales manager, including myself. I know my colleagues, and we value your feedback, input and more importantly, your time. We want every visit to be productive and
valuable to you as well as the companies we work for. However, next time a rep comes to your store and provides the kind of information that helps you grow, understand, and manage the business better, pay for it! Reward them with an order, dedicate time to the visit, and remember, a little positive reinforcement goes a long way. •
News, Views and Happenings in the world of Canadian Natural Health.
• Launch your new products
• Support your sales team
• Be visible as stores re-focus and re-charge
• Stake your position in the “new normal”
• Reach more stores – from coast to coast
• Introduce your company to new potential customers • Combine CNHR’s print, video and podcast options
Retailers want to see more of your new products. So, we’re making it easier for you and them.
Introducing our new Product Profile Package: a three-pronged way to reach retailers by combining print, video and podcast. You get all three!
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VIDEO: This is new for CNHR – video product reviews. You’ll get a 30 second review of your product with product image and voiceover. Five products per video, then e-blasted to CNHR’s database, to be shared among staff and with the store’s customers.
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For more information please contact: