Wholesaling continues to get more complex, but we think there is one basic that should not be ignored. While the list of activities for high-performance wholesalers continues to expand, there may be a temptation to reduce the emphasis of some of the long-standing basics on the list. Wholesalers must continue to re-evaluate the proper application of their own limited resources. We think there is one that could easily slip off your list that probably should not:
Some people don’t seem to like the term “promotion” since it seems immodest or even boastful. We like to think of it as a process of continually reintroducing, reminding and informing your customers and prospective customers about the products and services that you offer, and why they should buy those products from you. You must continue to tell your story; otherwise the only people talking about you are your competitors … and we’re guessing they are not nominating you for wholesaler of the year.
Create pull through demand
Given that contractors are notorious for their lack of marketing skills, wholesalers may want to build promotional initiatives that specifically target the homeowner or end-user of the products in order to create product demand that sweeps over the contractor.
Let us count the ways
The number of vehicles for this ongoing communication continues to expand. Where promotions were once hand-carried by salespeople directly to customers, there are now many ways to transmit your message that may need to be adjusted on a customer-by-customer basis in order to hit each customer’s sweet spot. Many wholesalers have abandoned direct mail promotions yet a large percentage of the contractor base probably reads and responds to well-executed, snail-mail promotions.
Most wholesalers we’ve talked to don’t seem to be getting much social media traction with their trade customers. As more and more millennials enter the trades, we think this will evolve. But, frankly, we haven’t got a clue as to how this will take shape. We have heard that several wholesalers use social media to build their credibility and brand with end-users who might use their products.
These apply to promotions regardless of the media.
Wholesaling continues to get more complex, but we think there are some basics such as promotions that you cannot ignore along the way.