Dunlop Adhesives’ Debi Boulton talks numbers
It’s a common misconception that a successful merchant has their eye on the bottom line, and only the bottom line. Whilst balancing budgets and negotiating pallet costs are naturally important aspects of a merchants’ mechanics, this shouldn’t be conducted in isolation.
With this in mind it’s essential that merchants consider other methods to maximise their partnerships with suppliers – they say if you don’t ask, then you don’t get, and this can often be the case with supplier relations. In fact, you’d be surprised to discover the amount of support suppliers are willing to offer merchants in order to ensure their product adds value to not only the end user, but for you too.
Here at Dunlop we are constantly developing innovative ways of enhancing our offering to merchants, not only do we offer bespoke product training days, which provide merchants with a unique opportunity to brush up on their product knowledge and get hold of the latest advice to ensure their stock flies off the shelves, we also have a dedicated technical helpline and a whole host of other resources to help.
To ensure you maximise your supplier relations, here are some handy tips:
* Knowledge is power – there’s only one place you need to head to get support on product knowledge – the supplier. From How To guides to merchant helplines, quality suppliers will have a host of tools in place to help you make the sale. It’s not uncommon for those in the trade to turn to their merchant for product advice – so if you have the knowledge nailed, you’ll be in a better position to upsell, cross sell and ensure the products you stock aren’t on the shop floor for long
* Supplier support – many suppliers will offer training when you first sign up as a stockist, however it shouldn’t just be new partnerships that profit from this added support. If you feel it’s time for a refresh on a product range’s key features, uses and benefits, then let your supplier know – they’ll be more than willing to help you get back up to speed
* Share the love – it’s not just important that you know the ins and outs of the products you stock, it’s also important that your team does too! If you’re struggling to find time to get your team up to speed, call on your supplier – they will offer group training wherever works best for you and your staff
* New technologies – if you’re really stuck for time, then don’t fear! Suppliers often house a whole range of support, advice, product benefits, hints and tips on their websites. In fact, here at Dunlop we have a dedicated Trade Zone for merchants, which boasts a wealth of resources to help you maximise sales. In addition we have an app, which helps you advise tradesmen on which products to use where and how much they require!
Hopefully the above advice will help you make the most of your partnerships. The important thing to remember is that you’re the customer, so if you require support you can feel assured that your suppliers will be on hand to help you out.