As a distributor, if you try to please everyone, you are going to fail.
You can’t be all things to all customers – but you can become a favorite of some people. If you are able to accomplish this, you will maintain a strong group of dedicated customers which, in turn, leads to a predictable revenue stream.
According to a post on the Modern Distribution Management, in order to become a favorite supplier in the eyes of your customers, you need to follow these four steps:
1) Segment – in order to target the right customers, you must segment. Rather than determining what they want to buy, you instead need to determine “what they fundamentally want from an economic and organizational standpoint,” says Steve Deist of Indian River Consulting. Once you’ve done that, you can focus on the customers that are the most profitable.
2) Identify gaps – where are there gaps between what your target customer actually wants and what your company offers?
3) Select your target – you can gain revenue by identifying which customers you focus on growing new opportunities with, the customers you want to maintain your existing relationships with and the customers whose needs it isn’t profitable for you to meet.
4) Tailor your offerings – once you’ve selected your target, you need to tailor your products and services to that particular segment in order to gain and maintain a competitive advantage.
Although it can be difficult to say no to a customer, it is necessary in order to gain more business more quickly.
By focusing your efforts on a target group, you can maintain healthy margins. According to the Modern Distribution Management article, “If you have declining margins, you probably aren’t competing with your strengths.”