Guest: Joel Blake, Partner and Technical Sales at Marketing Technologies
- Increase your rep, distributor, or reseller sales by supporting them with abundant sample products and stories behind those parts. Make sure they have up-to-date collateral. [4:40]
- Videos of the manufacturing process in action are also helpful for distributors to share new processes with the end users. [6:00]
- Those manufacturers who give better support to their distributors get more attention which can translate to more sales. How about a regular sales phone call with your distributors to keep them up to date? Ask your distributors what they need! [7:30]
- Joel's one wish from manufacturers - "Place more emphasis on the digital aspect of marketing. Get with the digital marketing age." [11:00]
- Joel is proud to represent the Millennial viewpoint and advocates the digital processes throughout manufacturing! [13:00]
- Here's what Joel sees his manufacturers doing for marketing support, some are using email, some are experimenting with social media like Twitter and LinkedIn. [16:00]
- Big opportunity for manufacturers is to support their distributors by providing educational material beyond the product and company manufacturing. This would get the attention of distributors and will very likely get you more distributor sales from your reps. [18:50]
- Manufacturers - put together an educational webinar and produce it for your distributors and their customers. Joel shares some great ideas off the top of his head. [21:40]
Question 1 – Joel, you represent several manufacturers. How would you describe excellent marketing and sales support and contrast that with inadequate or poor marketing and sales support from the manufacturer? How much does your perception of the support affect where you put your daily and strategic efforts?
Question 2 – If you had one marketing support (or sales support) wish that could be granted, what would you wish for from your manufacturers? Follow up with why did you choose that?
Question 3 – Let’s talk specifically about marketing. Of those manufacturers who do provide marketing support, what specifically are they doing to support you? Are any of your manufacturers or have you heard of any others who are supporting distributors with educational content like webinars, ebooks, white papers? (content besides company and product information)
Question 4 – What is the one thing a manufacturer could do for you and for any other distributors out there that would inspire you to put more effort into selling their products?
Challenge Question – This week I’m repeating our challenge question from last week because it is from a distributor of manufactured products. The question comes from the St. Louis area, a distributor of manufactured products, process instrumentation devices. “I’m the owner of a manufacturer’s rep company where we sell to various manufacturing companies. It’s getting tougher to get their attention these days and we seem to be fighting over the lowest price more often than not. Lately, the first and last call we get is for a price quote. We’re pretty good at pitching the product, but it’s not working so well lately. How can we position the company as a premium supplier by sharing expertise?
- Define your differentiation and unique value to your customers. You can use educational content to differentiate.
- Pitching the product is not a good way to differentiate. In fact this is a straight line to being perceived as a commodity.
- There's value in reliability, price is rarely the top concern in a purchase decision.
- Make sure sales and marketing are aligned and on the same team.
- Don't do marketing and sales the same way as everyone else in the industry. Look outside of manufacturing and see what they are doing for innovative ways to differentiate your sales and marketing activities.