Last month, we reviewed how to discover your showroom’s vendor gems. These lines offer a scene-stealing combination of selective distribution, innovative style and function, ability to specialize quotes, supportive customer support, quality product and produce a market-leading gross profit. With this collection of benefits, we will now refer to these vendors as high-value vendors or HVV.
If you missed that article, you can find it here.
As an owner or manager, your laser focus is on each vendor’s profit and, mistakenly, assume that your salespeople share your bottom-line focus. I suggest you are focusing on the deliverables, and they are involved in the process, the sales process. In most cases, you will not be able to move your salespeople to your side of this question by simply showing them the money. The way to move them is to show them how these HVVs will fuel their desire to be a great showroom salesperson.
I pose two questions:
- What is the most difficult and rewarding task that a salesperson must accomplish?
The sale. Closing the deal is what a good salesperson does.
- What is the first thing that most salespeople will change to win the deal?
Knowing this, do you think simply showing your talented team the over-the-top profitability of your newly discovered HVVs will motivate them to do everything in their power to present and sell them every day? Even if a segment of their income is profit commission based, do you think they will immediately move these profitable products to the top of their pitch? This will not happen if your showroom consultants think it will decrease their chance of closing a sale. No sales equals no commission, no matter how high the margin. The truth is…
“A-B-C. Always be closing,” spoken by Blake in “Glengarry Glen Ross.”
Certainly, some of you are telling yourself, my team completely understands how important profitability is to our business. And my salespeople will immediately jump right in and push what makes us more money. If this accurately describes your company, I tip my hat to you, Bravo. For the others, let’s discuss the path to create strong, applicable reasoning for your salespeople to add these HVVs to their presentations.
With today’s increasing similarity of product, the two significant differences between sources are the customer trust earned by the showroom consultant and price.
As the decorative plumbing showroom business has fought its way into fine homes, most showroom sales come from repeat customers. You count on your builders,’ plumbers’ and designers’ consistent orders, plus satisfied homeowners talking up your showroom within their personal and business networks. Knowing this and knowing what motivates top salespeople, today’s multi-line, successful showroom consultant must:
- Earn their customer’s trust;
- Create and present their customers with a ‘best possible solution’ for their job; and
- Win the job.
Great salespeople constantly work to create the perfect win-win situation. In these steps sits your opportunity to motivate your salespeople to update their presentation to include your HVVs. How can these vendors answer this question:
HOW DOES THIS VENDOR, HVV, SATISFY OUR CUSTOMER DEMANDS AND HELP YOUR SALESPEOPLE CLOSE THE SALE?
With this question on the table, it is time to involve your salespeople, purchasing agents and customer service people and have an anything goes discussion.
I suggest starting by reviewing the state of your market in 2022. In our last article, I commented on how many product lines are offering offer similar styles and functionality and selling directly to a large percentage of the market.
With today’s increasing similarity of product, the two significant differences between sources are the customer trust earned by the showroom consultant and price. And the latter is not the game a market-leading showroom nor its sales team wants to play. That is our 2022 market.
Now that your salespeople know the lay of the land, it is time to present your HVVs. Start with an open discussion with all involved on the merits of these new vendors. This should be a wide-ranging conversation as each person and each department has their individual reasons for bringing a new brand into their unique worlds. The topics discussed should include but not be limited to:
- Customer service;
- Market distribution (including internet);
- Overall consistency;
- Error follow up;
- Local sales support; and
This conversation will allow you to stay up-to-date on how your employees and departments see these brands and evaluate if these companies can become a significant part of your market-leading showroom’s never-ending journey to remain on top.
When your company has selected and agreed upon adding your HVVs, the next step is to prepare the stage and take the show on the road. Or, reset your showrooms, educate your key customers and promotes these HVVs to your target market. That we will discuss in a 2023 article.
Now, let’s step back and look at the process flywheel we have created in the last two articles.
Image courtesy of Valles
This entire process never stops and, over time will generate its own, individual energy in our company. This process should also be used to evaluate current go-to vendors. A company cannot only add to its top vendor list. Vendors change and those changes are not always beneficial to showrooms focused on being the market leader and profitable.
If you would like to discuss this in more depth, please reach out to me on LinkedIn.