Your vendors and suppliers are the lifeline to your business success. You should consider their reps as your business partners. Wouldn’t you like to have business partners that keep your shelves stocked with the latest and greatest, take care of returns, train your staff, negotiate the best prices, find valuable closeouts for you, and the best part: get paid by someone else… This is the relationship you should have with your reps.
Here are 7 ways to make more money and have infinitely more time to run your business:
1. Returns – It’s simple & easy. Ask you reps to take care of returns FIRST. Returns turn into credits which become cash to buy more inventory. Its money in your pocket. Remember – Returns before new orders.
2. Inventory Control – Reps should keep their best-selling items on your shelves up to date and help close out old stock.
3. New Items – Ask your reps to recommend new items and stand behind them if they don’t sell for you. Give it at least 60 days, and prime display area in your shop.
4. Training – Train ‘em and they will sell. A big part of your rep’s job should be getting with your staff and train, train, train.
5. Closeouts – Ask your reps to let you know first when their companies have closeouts available. It can be a huge advantage to your profits.
6. Discounts – It’s not generally known, but reps have a lot more clout than you know. Ask for special discounts for your sale events or early payment. You never know…
7. Working During Sales – For your next sale have a 2 hour manufacturers rep event. Ask all of your reps to participate with with free giveaways, consignment or closeout inventory, brochures, customer demos etc…
Finally: Buy your best reps lunch and thank them. If you’ve been in business for a while, you already know which reps you can trust, and who your friends are. If you are new to the industry, ask for their advice and encourage them to participate in your success. Asking for your rep’s help to improve your business should be part of the deal.