Do you think of your partners as competitors or a team working together to conquer the competition? Your view may be affecting the effectiveness of your team. Yes, your dealer network is your team. They are or can be an organism that works as an entity, learning from failures as well as successes. This article will help you build your partner team.
Do you do your part in moving your network forward? Do you foster the sharing of stories of success? What works? Who is buying? How long do your partners work with a prospect before getting an order? Computer technology can help you build your team faster and easier than word of mouth.
Are your partners surviving on service work? If they are, perhaps you should be helping? Remember, Demosthene’s motto from 338 BC “He who fights and runs away will live to fight another day.” Well, the economy is getting better, and when business picks up, you want to have a strong dealer network, poised for growth. As the economy continues to grow, you will be really happy with your toughened partners who are willing to and able to sell your product.
1. Call your partners and solicit some unique sales success stories. (or theatrical failures)
2. Package a partner sales story every month and include it on your partner home page. (attribute the story to your partner if possible)
3. Get engineering to put together some topical service sales opportunity every month.
4. Change your partner home page every month! (give your partners a reason to return)
Perhaps you should even consider giving a small prize, like a customized windbreaker for the most inspiring sales story of the month. In other words, encourage your partner network to share stories with your staff. Speaking of your staff, you should designate a staff person for your partners to call or email with their stories. Everyone likes to have a leadership roll, and set someone up to be the lead person for your partner home page. Get your partners talking about their collective strength.
Many years ago, while I was in college, I attempted to return a very expensive clock chip that I managed to blow up. I guess I had improperly used a piece of test equipment, and the ground was not correct, turned the chip into smoke. Being a financially challenged student, I mailed the cinders into the manufacturer said it was defective. Well, I got a real nice letter from the head of engineering asking to see my circuit diagram, and offering to set me straight on how to use the chip. I’m certain that he would still laugh about some kid calling his chip defective. The entire physics department got a laugh out of my letter, and I’m sure that his staff did the same. Sometimes those crazy stories make a sales pitch where reality is better than fiction. While I did not get a free replacement chip, I sure got a genuine offer of assistance, where none was required. And yes, I did buy more chips from that company, and learned that to make something you have to take risks. Take a risk, open a channel of communications with your partners.