Sales Boost - Sell more by Partnering with Suppliers

Suppliers want you to get more sales – your success is their success. Here are tips for building better relationships with them so you can build your bottom line.

Boost Sales With Supplier Support By…

  • Leveraging Their Virtual Samples: So many prospects buy based on visual cues. You’ll increase sales then by using virtual samples from suppliers to help buyers ensure they’re getting the products they truly want. “Most suppliers have digital libraries of their product lines and are willing to create renditions with your clients’ logos on them,” says Christopher Duffy, senior VP of marketing at Bag Makers (asi/37940).
  • Taking Advantage of Supplier Tech Tools: In the increasingly digital marketplace, suppliers have adapted to provide technology offerings that can help reps during the sales process. Digital catalogs, online freight quotes and customizable PDF flyers for marketing are just a few of the things that distributors can use to earn more sales. As part of this effort, top suppliers have beefed up their websites to better assist reps. Cutter & Buck (asi/47965), for instance, has developed a robust site that features everything distributors need to sell the supplier’s top-notch apparel. “With a login and password, they can search products, view inventory, find tracking for an order, pull images, flyers and get pricing,” says Ty Cannon, Cutter’s national business development coordinator.
  • Securing Apparel Samples: Reps will score more apparel sales by showing clients actual samples so they can feel the products firsthand to differentiate between what they want and what they don’t. Good suppliers know this, and are willing to send you samples to present to clients. Samples often carry a price, but if you develop a strong partnership with apparel suppliers, you may be able to secure these items without significant expense.
  • Bringing Supplier Reps On Sales Calls: You’ll close more deals by taking suppliers you trust on important sales calls so they can put their expertise to use in helping you earn a lucrative order. You can even take such collaboration a step further: Some distributors who are especially close with their preferred suppliers invite these partners in to set up a mini trade show where end-buyers peruse new offerings – a gathering that can lead to a flood of fresh orders.
  • Utilizing Blind Marketing Videos: Suppliers like Bag Makers offer short, well-edited videos about products that distributors can watch to become experts on the items. Additionally, distributors can show these videos to clients as part of presentations to help influence buyers and win business.

Build Relationships By…

  • Providing Complete Purchase Orders: When purchase orders arrive incomplete or incorrect it slows the order process. As such, delivering perfect purchase orders up front helps the supplier and behooves reps, who’ll benefit from faster delivery – a happier client who’ll be more apt to purchase again.
  • Communicating Clearly With The Correct Contacts: When reps have questions or need to provide input, it’s important that they go to the correct supplier employee. This helps minimize confusion and aids in ensuring an order is fulfilled as quickly and accurately – something that helps reps serve buyers better. “If a distributor forms a relationship with the supplier sales rep or customer service contact then they know who they can go to when they need to get something done,” says Cannon.
  • Buying from Top Suppliers: When distributors haggle on every order it bogs down the fulfillment process and fails to facilitate creating a partnership. Instead, earn deals and discounts by consistently purchasing from top suppliers, something that can help boost sales margins.
  • Seeking Advice From Supplier Reps: Getting together with supplier reps who can show you new products that may appeal to your target audiences can help you increase revenue. Prior to the meeting, tell your supplier contact about the markets you serve – or those you’re looking to break into – so they can bring along items suited to those buyers.