GET, LLC is a proud member of the Manufactures Agents National Association (MANA). With a mission to educate, protect and promote the multi-line outsourced sales function, we felt it would be an opportunity to share some advice today on being prepared in the ever changing economy-kind of like a "boy scout" for the sake of our respective customers and a better advocate for the manufacturers we represent.
Because of expansion in buying channels from the internet and companies emerging all around our region and world, it’s only normal that price competition by sellers is becoming tougher, particularly on commodity products. Who benefits here? The buyer.
We are being looked at for good quality, on-time delivery and competitive price. Customers and principals are now placing a tremendous amount of weight on the value of service that you and I, the manufacturers’ representative, can offer them. This includes the unique, problem solving solutions that we bring. Remember-that if you’re just like everyone else and fail to distinguish yourself in terms of service, you’re not going to succeed. Simultaneously, the customer is demanding such value added service, including the principal who is also a “customer” for the rep.
In a special report by MANA, "at the same time customers and principals place all this emphasis on service and value add, the ways we used to conduct business have gone by the wayside. Few customers, principals or reps for that matter, have time for the traditional golf game or lengthy lunch. Instead, when participants in the channel get together face-to-face, the aim is to maximize the benefits of that “face time.” It seems that a rep who can demonstrate ways to help the customer increase his business or improve the customer’s productivity is now the supplier that gets the most access to the customer!"
MANA adds that these changes in the business environment have also combined with a number of developments that are perceived by many as threats to the rep method of going to market. Look at these threats as opportunities to differentiate your firm from that of your competition.