What can help distributors most in 2016 is for them to move from selling products to selling programs, stated leading US industry consultant Ron Segura.
“For instance, when distributors meet with customers to help them select a floor machine, they usually just focus on the features and benefits of that machine,” said Mr. Segura in a recent press release. “Instead, they must broaden their approach to include the proper chemicals, finishes, pads, tools, and accessories that go along with that machine.”
Switching to selling programs instead of just products will benefit distributors in several ways. First, it shifts a customer’s thinking away from price to thinking about value and benefits (such as enhanced worker productivity, safety, ease of use, being more environmentally responsible, etc.). They also help customers solve cleaning problems, not just address a specific cleaning need.
This can open the door to upselling or, on the other hand, product bundling – which can result in cost savings. Programs also help avoid the one-off client. By offering add-on services, a distributor can bond with a customer and solidify new business.
Programs allow distributors to sell their own value to client, making them important assets to a facility’s health and operations.
Finally, selling programs helps prevent purchasing departments from “nitpicking” a purchase request. This last item is very important, emphasised Mr. Segura. Many times when a purchasing department receives an equipment purchase request, it looks for alternative products that cost less.
“[However], when selling a program, it is easier to tell the purchasing department that the facility is not just buying products, but an entire program – that’s a whole other ballgame,” he said.