Can’t Go It Alone!May 27th, 2010 by Editor
I started my career as a franchised dealer of a large automotive aftermarket company. At that time, we were the industry segment leader, mostly because our dealer network was strong and in sync with the parent – sharing a common goal to succeed. Looking back, a key to my success was directly tied to my relationship with the franchisor, more specifically how I embraced and incorporated their sales and marketing guidance and support. I needed them, and they needed me – it was a beautiful thing. Even more important was that our franchise parent fully understood how their success was directly tied to mine – a perfect example of pull-through, versus push-through selling.
From the very first day on the job in the film industry, I wondered why the concept of “franchise like marketing support” couldn’t work in the window film business. As time passed I proved that it can and that it does, although only if the film supplier knows how to leave its manufacturing mentality at the factory, empowering its sales and marketing professionals to take it from there.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen an influx of new film suppliers and some of their dealer sales and marketing support consists of not much more than a price sheet and a toll free number to take orders. To each his own, although when you look at the leaders in our industry, a common denominator to success is a dedication to dealer support, which leads to customer retention. It’s pretty clear which film suppliers truly care about the success of their dealer partners and you can see it by simply assessing their line-up of dealer support materials, selling tools, diverse quality products, dealer programs and of course staff – all available to help with the day-to-day challenge faced by dealers.
Manufacturer dealer support is HUGE and well worth the extra bucks per box to pay for it.
My point today is that none of us can survive let alone thrive by “going it alone” and it’s my suggestion to not make your vendor selection decisions based solely on price, rather you must look deep into the intent of your supplier, by assessing available dealer support because it can be critical to your success – short and long term. So, do business with a supplier who clearly understands that its survival and success is directly tied to yours – and then proves it by support your selling efforts.