When Dale Limes, senior vice president of sales at HALO Branded Solutions’ (asi/356000), looks at the $1 million distributor salespeople, he notices that they all have one thing in common: a niche. “Some have vertical market niches, some have product category niches and some have corporate departmental expertise,” he says.
“We are in a business where it is very easy to run wild and try to be all things to all people, but top producers know that focusing on a niche or two is the secret to success.”
Here’s how to determine the best niche for you as your start your own distributor business:
Personal background. Some people come to our industry with expertise in a certain field or line of business that makes the niche marketing hunt much easier. When you can speak the language, and have a keen understanding of what the goals and challenges are for a business, that niche market a good natural place to start.
Geography. Some account executives gravitate to the primary niche industry in town and become experts in those vertical markets. A good example would be Portland, OR, which is the number-one craft beer city in the U.S. Some may decide to become the best at selling to microbreweries in Portland because that’s where the money is. The only caution is, everyone else is trying too, so you’d better be on top of your game.
Product category. Some reps focus on a segment of our business as their niche and become the market specialist for those businesses. An example would be awards and recognition specialists. This is an area many don’t focus on, so why not get creative and become known as the go-to person in town in that area? After all, awards, much like calendars, are an annuity which means more guaranteed income for years to come.