Are your distributors doing their job to connect with your brand?

by Chris Walter

Brand representation is a critical factor in sales, regardless of the enterprise involved. When pushing retail products, it is critical for firms that utilize indirect sales to select distributors and vendors that are properly trained and versed in the firm's goals and strategies in order to optimize their brand onsite.

When being represented by a third-party labor force, there are several considerations to take into account. Auditing results regularly can help ensure that these factors are in place and adequate for meeting brand goals, while optimizing sales and overall performance at the same time.

Approach
Approach is almost always the key to a sale. The initial interaction and how the sales professional engages the consumer are key to setting a good impression and optimizing the later two factors. Additionally, it will set the tone for the customer's overall experience in the store. Firms want to ensure that their third-party vendor has the proper plan for approach in place, and that it meets their own criteria for excellence.

Assessment
Second only to approach in importance is assessment. The sales personnel's ability to assess the customer and change tactics will help bring a sale about and continue optimizing the customer experience. A consumer could have entered a store for a specific product but be browsing in a different section. Once the sales staff has approached him or her and discovered this, changing direction and utilizing consultative sales to assist the customer with his or her true intention without dropping the ball will be key. Again, the strategy has to meet the business' branding goals and reputational needs.

Closing
While they key point in the sale, closing has perhaps the least influence on the sale itself. Closing the deal is still critical, however, and once a sales professional is confident that the consumer is ready to make a purchase they can't slack off. An efficient and effective closing will be crucial to optimizing the overall experience and ensuring that the brand is properly represented through the entire process.

One big box retailer's high-quality sales practices are an excellent example of optimized brand representation in retail sales and marketing. Many companies have optimized their brand at this retailer by focusing their communication with the company and using the right strategy to align their strategies. The retailer has the highest close ratio of any third party labor vendor at 68 percent, and is ranked No. 1 by Mystery Shop survey of all third-party labor force vendors. This is optimized by the company's focus on brand representation, but also the high-performance culture that is embedded in its sales force.

With the right strategy and optimization in place, companies will be able to see their sales go up and their overall brand reputation grow due to using the right vendors and distributors with the right approach to sales perfection. Rather than having diverging goals, an aligned approach will drive success at every turn.

Topic: Retail

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Walter is Vice President Strategic Enterprise Services for MarketSource. With more than 20 years of experience increasing customer value in the technology, services, and manufacturing sectors, Chris drives top-line growth and bottom-line performance for MarketSource.

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