As a manufacturer, a very good portion of my day is spent trying to make life easier for those selling our products.
As you can imagine, if Distribution and Retail doesn't know how to effectively sell our products, is lacking in training, literature or promotional materials, or simply doesn't have success for whatever reason, our sales will suffer and my job will be history. So it is very important that I provide support for all levels of sales.
With that being said, we sell through a tiered system, which includes Distributors at the top. Many, if not most, of the retailers that carry our products buy them through Distribution. What I would like to know, first of all, is what you need your Distributors to offer when you pick up product lines? What is the most important aspects of your relationship with your Distributor? (Having inventory, their sales support, the training they offer, ???). If I know what you need from them, I can work on making sure it is available to them.
My second question is whether or not you ever go straight to the manufacturer for support and, if you do, what do you need? Promotional materials? Education? Merchandising solutions?
I know I am not the only manufacturer who would love a little guidance straight from the source (YOU!) and I want you to know how much I appreciate your comments, suggestions and feedback - in advance.
I can't wait to hear what you have to say!