Too often manufacturers take advantage of their relationship with distributors. They think: we’ll just make sure they’re all stocked with our products so they can go to work and move our offerings off the floor. Said manufacturers (and their salespeople) might provide some information about their products, but other than that they leave it up to the distributor to field questions and sell their products for them.
This is where a gap begins to form between manufacturers and distributors. However, distributors are an important element of our business, and we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to bridge the unfortunate, yet inevitable gap that is created. Instead of thinking of distributors as just another way to get our products into the hands of as many customers as possible, we need to think of them as part of the team.
Here are three ways we attempt to bridge the gap and nurture mutually-beneficial relationships at Wheatland Tube:1. Keep the lines of communication open
Communication is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to working with distributors. In this light, you really can’t communicate too much with the distributors that are stocking your products. From making sure your distributors have direct access to a salesperson to that salesperson dropping by regularly (every several weeks or so) and staying in touch in the interim, being available to provide information or answer any questions they may have will benefit you in the long run.
This brings me to my next point…