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As a distributor salesperson, keeping your customer's shelf full is no longer enough. Today's salesperson must help their customers increase market share, introduce new products and manage resources more efficiently. If your customer isn't growing his business, there's little opportunity for you to expand, according to John Monoky in Be a Strategic Seller.
Tactical salespeople sell products that wind up being neatly tucked away on the shelf; strategic salespeople sell products and services that have a direct impact on a customer's bottom line. The strategic seller understands the total nature of an account's business and uses this knowledge to help a customer grow his business as well.
To become a strategic seller, conduct an audit of your territory. Identify the growth segments in your territory, who the primary competitors are, what the market potential is and what each competitor's market share is.
The results are classic win-win: the customer grows business, and in turn the distributor does, as well.