Are You Showing Your Vendors The Love?

Back in the day, electronics dealers would go to CES in search of money. They would meet & dine with key manufacturers and negotiate a mutual business plan for the coming year.

The plan would include a commitment by the dealer to purchase $XXX of the manufacturer’s goods. Sometimes, the commitment would be broken down by specific product categories and even SKU’s. In return, the manufacturer would commit $XX in some combination of promotional allowances, SPA’s, rebates, and MDF (Market Development funds).

This in addition to the standard 4-5% advertising coop allowance baked into most vendor programs. Savvy dealers would return from CES with commitments from 6-12 key suppliers totaling tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

We have met very few integrators who do even a shadow of the above. Not because the manufacturers aren’t willing, or don’t have the budget. But because the integrators themselves don’t have the disciplines required to describe and quantify their support.

Vendor Love As with any good & lasting partnership, a dealer/vendor partnership needs to be a win/win. The vendor responsibilities are clear: provide quality products at marketable prices, ship in a timely manner, and own any product failures.

You might think dealer responsibilities are clear, as well: purchase product regularly, sell it profitably, and pay on time. But vendors need more than this to feel truly loved. The really good partnerships also include planning and loyalty.

So, as you prepare for CEDIA (a month away!), include preparing a plan for your key vendors…

1) Run historical reports to see how much you’ve purchased, from whom. This will help you quantify the opportunity going forward 2) Consider your company’s growth opportunities over the coming 18 months, and how key vendors could participate in those opportunities 3) Describe the win-win: “here’s what we can do for you, and here’s what we hope you can do for us

That’s love, in 3 easy pieces. Put together 6-10 one page vendor plans, set up the meetings, and be prepared to be amazed at what happens. Because so few dealers do this – or will do this, even as we’re laying it out for them – your company will stand out among the throngs looking for some kind of technology silver bullet.

Speaking of love…

“You’ve made me love my business again” That’s what a client commented at last week’s ProSource Power Dealer Summit. “I’ve been in this business 30 years, and spent most of it looking for a better business to invest in. What you’ve showed me would have made me the millions I’ve been looking for.” " I love my business again!"

If you’d like to discover a better way to manage and profit from your CI business, make an appointment to visit with us at CEDIA. Email or call Steve or Paul and we’ll set up an hour together. It will be an eye-opener for sure.

And, if you’re willing to make the required changes (more about this next week), it will be your path to a prosperous future.

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