10 Steps to Stronger Partnerships with Premium Manufacturers

Building your business to obtain consistent and profitable months always seems to be a struggle. Creating stronger partnerships with premium manufacturers has many opportunities to drive more profit, yet these relationships require more planning and effort than a traditional manufacturer. Before we dive into the steps that can build a stronger partnership, here are some partnership basics that must be in place first.

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    • Your representative visits regularly with relevant topics and doesn’t waste your time.
    • Reps communicate in a timely manner with rebates, special buy-ins and co-op issues.
    • They’re open to new ideas in advertising and they follow up on these ideas.
    • They take your profit margins seriously, directing you to the best opportunities with their brand.
    • They get involved when support issues occur and are proactive in finding solutions.
    • You receive regular updates on product direction to discuss how you can lead in your market place.

If these basics are in place, it’s likely that you have a good foundation and a better chance to take your relationship to another level of partnering.

Now is the time to get this into your thinking, if it’s not already there… You drive this relationship and you set the standard for how it should work. Consider creating a plan each year related to how you’re going to direct that premium manufacturer to help you gain more sales and profits. Remember, they need you. Smart manufacturers will invest in your relationship and they also want you to succeed.

Keys to Stronger Partnerships
Premium and luxury manufacturers can be the most challenging when building stronger partnerships. The nature of their product lines doesn’t allow them to walk in step with the big players in manufacturing. They advertise differently, they have a smaller audience, their product lines change less often, and some have protective pricing strategies. Rebates and sales are limited, and co-op funding can be notably smaller. Building a stronger partnership requires intentional effort and a plan of action.

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  1. Make sure your sales team is committed to promoting and talking about their brand.
  2. Have regular sales and product training meetings to review the innovations that make them unique.
  3. Send your reps regularly to their training facilities and special events.
  4. Be watchful to leverage the skills of your premium rep as they’re likely a stronger professional.
  5. Create an annual plan for each brand’s growth and set profit targets.
  6. Share your objectives with your sales team and tell them exactly what you expect for sales volume.
  7. Diminish the presentation of competing brands and keep your customers focused.
  8. Create a plan of new advertising and marketing ideas that will support your specific objectives.
  9. Ask for additional funding to support your ideas and get a firm commitment.
  10. Assess growth and appropriately tie growth to the ideas the manufacturer supported, and then
    review results with your representative.

Choose someone in your organization or an outside firm to help you turn these initiatives into reality. Initiatives of this type take planning and time to truly accomplish, but the benefits can be significant. The key isn’t only to create a plan, but commit to executing it. If planned well and executed as promised, you’ll uncover more support and increase sales. The premium manufacturer will put more value on the relationship and will likely invest in you more. Be the driver of these partnerships and grow your profits through a more intentional plan of engagement.

Chris Riley
Owner of Riley & You, Riley Appliance Marketing

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