Conquering the Squeeze
Most respondents in this study appear to have positive relationships with their retail customers. Even though about half report these relationships have remained stable, the other half felt their relationships have improved. Most said retailers value their services.
The results from this research are clear. The challenge for the independent sales reps and distributors is two-fold. First, they must ensure they are truly bringing value to their partners. Second, they must communicate these benefits to the manufacturer and the retailer. The successful business of the future will bring to the table a network of dealer relationships; an intimate knowledge of new technologies; a local focus; a cost-effective approach (i.e. you only get paid when you sell); greater responsibility in handling logistical services for the manufacturer, such as returns, distribution and inventory tracking; more product and service training for the retailer; and the ability to solve problems in partnership with both dealers and manufacturers.
The future for independent sales reps and distributors is both exciting and daunting at the same time. There is tremendous growth in the CE industry with a constant stream of new products to sell. However, the competitive landscape of CE manufacturing and retailing is squeezing the independent sales rep and distributor as never before. Therefore, it is imperative that the independent sales rep and distributor examine everything they do to ensure they are delivering maximum value to all their partners.