Marketing products through indirect channels such as retailers or distributor outlets is an efficient way for your business to serve large numbers of customers that your sales force could not reach. An effective distribution strategy can boost revenue and profitability, while poor channel performance can have the opposite effect, according to Marketing MO. To encourage channel members to stock and market your products, you must motivate them.
Distributors do a lot of heavy lifting by managing all your small orders and packaging them into one neat number for you each month. They’re also the gateway to a lot of retailers and other businesses.
One of the misconceptions about distributors is that they go out and sell your stuff for you. Most do, but the truth is, they have thousands of products that they represent and it’s easy for your products to get lost in the crowd. On top of that, their first concern is getting their customers what they ask for. Selling them something new is a distant second.
But with the right motivation, you can get their attention and get them working hard to bring in some sales for you.
Anatomy of a Distributor: Channel partners, Dealers, Distributors whichever we prefer to call them, are our first customers. They buy and stock for us, and then make efforts to sell our product or services to the end users.
How to Get Your Distributors Working For You
It is important to build trusting relations with your channel partners. They must understand your vision and goals, and in turn you must understand their capacity and capabilities in driving your product or services in the marketplace. Building a good open relationship is the starting point for the synergy to work in the long term.
Once you know what they want, let’s find ways to motivate them. Motivational videos are a very useful tool in the long run. What you need now is a list of strategies that feed that motivation. These are all things that are used with great success to motivate a distributor’s sales team:
- Lead Generation motivational videos – Marketing teams collect contact details by running advertisements that include a response mechanism such as a reply coupon, telephone number, email address or website address where prospects can submit their details. In return, respondents receive a special offer, such as a gift or discount for consumers or a valuable report for business prospects. Make videos offering them exciting deals – like early bird discounts for stocking, 20% off of a big invoice, and more. They would definitely love a smartly designed motivational video informing about deals, rather than reading through long emails and How-to-make-more-sales articles.
- Marketing Materials – Make sure you’ve got a nice branded envelope so everyone knows where they came from, when passing on the bonus or percentage profits to them. Encourage them to carry good quality brochures and show off tidy and new demonstration items when they visit the end customers. Making a motivational video explaining the benefits of a good presentation is also useful. Be open for feedback and give them the opportunity to come back with questions, or suggestions on how to make your marketing material user friendly and eye catching for the customer.
- Use an Inspirational quote into a visual story of your brand. Pick up a popular ( but apt for your brand) inspirational video or quote from a successful Icon to remodel it. But rather than passing it on as just a ‘Quote of the Day’, highlight with visuals from the company, add anecdotes from your own Sales or Marketing team. Or if possible include a positive message from your company’s CEO, or encouraging words from a leader in your workplace.
- Provide actionable solutions for common issues. A motivational video addressing common problems makes channel partners see the company people as peers, and not as superior. It instils brotherhood and trust. Common issues can range from how to make a bigger impact in the world to figuring out how to express your true feelings. Do not talk about the product in this kind of motivational video, just brand it on the side. It will still make an impact in the minds, because they feel important.
- Repackage viral, feel-good stories with your own commentary. There are always stories in the news that highlight delightful moments or spectacular events that restore our faith in humanity. These videos blow up on social media because they remind us about the good that can come out of society. Use these in a relatable manner and present OR re –present them to your distribution partners.
- Show first-hand proof how dreams can become reality. Choose your star performers and let them shoot a real time video on how they handled problems and customers. That can give strategy ideas to Distributors as well.
- Give step-by-step tips for reaching goals. Lists are easy ways to throw together a series of ideas on any subject. You can use this format to make short motivational videos from 5 Ways to Change Your Diet to 7 Ways to Meditate to learn accounting, to endless options. Mayo Clinic composed a list of 7 Ways to Create a New Habit to empower audiences to change up their lifestyle for the better. Looks totally different from your agenda! Just put your brand name there, and a clear message, ‘We want you out fittest and finest Channel partners. Let’s learn and earn together.’ This is just an example, but you understand the idea behind it, right?
- Grab the Bull by the Horns. These are all great ideas. They’re used all the time and they help rocket up your sales. They get your brand into the hearts and minds of the people out there selling it and get your products into the hands of customers. And there’s one more strategy that works extremely well …Get your own sales team out there knocking on doors. Once you’ve got some distributors on board you can go directly to customers. When you make a sale, ask them what distributors they use and match them up with one that carries your products. The more sales you get for the distributor, the more they’ll like you and believe in your brand.