The worst competitor is not who you think, other manufacturers of green machines. The worst competition comes from your own retailers. Surely this sounds very provocative and maybe you question if it really is so. However let me put forward the following arguments and we`ll see if you agree - or not.
The dealer is a free shopkeeper that normally sells more than just your brand. Often he has several types of similar products.
The dealer`s independence is based upon the fact that he represents more than one, well-known, brand.
The customer comes to the dealers shop - the Marketplace - and the dealer often becomes the Technical Expert that influences the consumer-customers (villa-customers etc) choice of brand and model.
The dealer's willingness to sell a certain brand in a certain situation is influenced not only by what the customer needs but also by his own profit, his stock-situation, his relation to the customer and his relations to his deliverers and their representatives.
The dealer can many times manoeuvre the customers choice by his way of presentation, his willingness to give a discount in a certain situation etc The dealer aims towards a complete shop with an all round assortment of brands and models. His goal is not to maximize his sale of your products but to maximize his sales and profits in general. The fact that his shop covers all leading brands and useable models, a quick turnover of the stock and the possibility to "play-off" on the manufacturer against another and so on - are vital to him as a dealer.
By covering all leading brands the dealer hopes that he will always find new profitable products to sell and that he most often will get a "bargain" from a manufacturer- if not from you so from the others. To persuade the dealer to sell more of your products you make a wide range of campaigns with discounts, advertising-support, sales-competitions etc. With more than one brand the dealer can count on continous offers of advertising-support, campaign-discounts etc. Covering all leading brands really pays off, from the dealer's point of view.
The product-volumes, in general, do not move upwards, unless we create new niches and especially, finds them ahead of our competitors. Where can we conquer new market-shares ? In our own retailer-shops, where else ?
There is the local Market-place, or the battle so to say. Where can we find new nisches ? Through a good market-knowledge. How do you get a good knowledge of the market ? By knowing your customers....isn't that right ? Because the dealers local marketshare consists of not only his sales of your products, but of all his sales.
Take his pulse. Ask yourself, what does he sell - and to whom. Put it together and you have the local competition. The competition on our own back-yard.
The problem is to get that information, isn't it ? So loyal to you, are they not, your dear and trusted dealers.
If all shops which sells your products really gave a HIGH PRIORITY to you - why do they then sell other leading brands ? A greater loyalty or a more interdependent relation between you and your dealers can create new marketshares. How ? By snatching them from your competitors, in your own shops.
About the Author:
Claes Anders Malmberg is the editor of Acema Konsult HB. You can find more information at http://www.acama.se.