In a global economy that is always shifting, how can you guide your wholesale distribution company toward continuous growth? The answer may be hiding in the back of your catalog. Ancillary products have the potential to generate tens of thousands of dollars in continuous revenue from new and existing customers. Use these 7 steps to narrow in on this opportunity and start boosting your sales today.
1. Adjust the Focus
Many distributors focus on their core products to increase revenue. Your core products are likely a high profit margin, one-time purchase. The key to supplementing the growth of your core business is encouraging your company to focus on a few relevant ancillary products. Choose a product that is both disposable and necessary to the daily operations of your client’s business: soap, paper towels, disposable gloves, or chemical products. It is likely that you already have several products in your catalog that fit this description.
2. Diversify Product Training
So you have discovered the hidden revenue potential of ancillary items. (Or perhaps you still need help calculating the profit potential of ancillary items in your industry.) Now, it’s important to set your sales representatives up for success. Your reps receive a lot of training on how to sell your core products. However, increasing revenue from ancillary products can be challenging if your reps are unfamiliar with those products.
Customers won’t buy products from you if they don’t know you carry them. To create buyer awareness, improve product training among your sales reps so they proactively go after the sale. Videos from suppliers and vendors can help make them conversant in product features and benefits.
3. Proactive vs. Reactive Sales
Ancillary items such as disposable gloves are often a reactive sale for wholesale distributors: they are offered only if a customer asks for them. Prep your team to offer ancillaries during regular sales conversations. One key sales tactic will help them connect the dots for customers: anchoring.
4. Anchor Your Product
Anchoring means connecting your products to the daily operations of a customer’s business. Many ancillary products are necessary or required for use with other products you sell; for instance, disposable gloves with chemical solvents or lubricants. Establishing that connection can help your customers see the wisdom of regularly stocking ancillary items.
Start the conversation by walking in the door with your core product under one arm and your ancillary product under the other. Help your customers understand that in order to use the core product they already purchase, they should also be using the ancillary product.
However, in order to implement a successful anchoring argument, your sales representatives are going to need props.
5. Samples = Sales
When selling a consumable good, it’s important to bring samples along for the conversation. When a customer can physically feel the difference between your products and the low-quality products your competitors are selling, it will be easy for them to understand the difference and make the switch.
6. Digital Marketing
Part of increasing awareness of your product offerings is using digital channels to promote your business. Invite new and existing customers to follow you on social media to stay up to date with new offerings and exclusive promotions. Using these digital platforms can establish anchoring and other sales techniques for a larger audience. Encourage new followers to call your office, visit your eCommerce store, or come by your brick-and-mortar location. Unsure where to start with Digital Marketing?
7. Vendor Support
Growing your ancillary product sales shouldn’t be a project you take on alone. Everything from product and sales training to samples and digital support should be provided by your vendor. As you are choosing an ancillary product to focus on, ensure that the supplier of that product is providing you with the support you need to be successful.
The key to increasing wholesale distribution revenue is to focus on growing existing business using ancillary products. With product training and samples in-hand, your sales representatives will be prepared to proactively seek the sale using the anchoring technique. Amplify their efforts by utilizing digital marketing to increase the awareness of your company. Most importantly, seek out vendors who will support your success with marketing tools and sales training resources so that you can focus on what matters most: growing your company’s revenue.