In an era where purchasing departments often place lowest cost among their primary buying criteria, it’s up to specialist distributors to prove their worth. Job #1 is to sharply define your specialty and then convey it to customers in ways that clearly demonstrate a competitive advantage.
Specialist distributors can fall into one of several categories. One thing they all have in common is an overall offering that far exceeds the mere supply of products. Specialists typically invest in technical training for their personnel, offer expert advice regarding their customers’ equipment and the components that keep it running.
If your business model is indeed that of a “specialist” distributor, one that delivers technical services, whose reps have developed productive relationships with plant personnel and are familiar with your customer’s particular needs, you will almost certainly have a history of providing services unachievable by competitors who rely primarily on low pricing. But do your customers know and value the additional and technical services you provide?
In his article for Industrial Distribution, Do Your Customers Value Your Services?, Bill Moore, Senior VP, Channel Management for SKF, talks about how important it is to educate your customers on what your company brings to the table and outlines the steps to accomplish this.
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