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Talk is Cheap

Reducing Costs by Increasing Communication: Share, Create, Coordinate

Talk is cheap

Some say talk is cheap, typically in reference to the emptiness of words. Rethink the meaning of that statement from a more literal standpoint, and consider the actual price of communication.

How much does your company invest each year on technology, intended to increase connectivity and communication? Does it always seem as though just as you get closer to keeping up with “Jones’ Inc.”, the technology changes again? Welcome to the endless cycle that most distributors are forced to accept, if they want to remain relevant in today’s interconnected business world. The question is, is technology the answer, or the bandage?

Expensive CRM suites, software subscriptions, cloud-based reporting systems, e-mail marketing, company intranet sites, corporate newsletters…all worthy investments for a growing distributor, but only if you actually have good communication as the foundation. Basic, effective corporate communication is virtually free, and one of the most important investments a distributor can make.

Knowledge is the life force that runs through the veins of every good company, and if a blockage exists, all systems are effected. Think about these essential processes for better communication, and ask yourself if your company is utilizing any of these strategies. How could they be implemented, and who should be involved? What can you do yourself, to minimize these unhealthy blockages?

Share:

  • Product details for new product launches, item changes, or general product information, should be funneled effectively from
  • Product details for new product launches, item changes, or general product information, should be funneled effectively from procurement, to the sales force and inside sales, so it can be passed along to customers.
  • Corporate initiatives and strategy should be shared with all teams, for better adoption of goals. No one can win if you’re not playing the same game!
  • Real life experiences with customers, product uses, and selling tips should be shared with other sales team members, and CSRs. If you learn that a customer is using a product in an innovative way, share it with your colleagues to help them sell it too!
  • Success stories across sales teams should always be shared as helpful tips for like accounts – the strategy for accomplishing your goal may pave the way for a similar seller to achieve similar success.Coordinate:

Coordinate:

  • Interdepartmental teams should be coordinated for better selling to large accounts. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and if representatives from operations, purchasing, sales, accounting and customer service work together, all bases will be covered for greater success.
  • Interdepartmental teams should be coordinated for better selling to large accounts. Nothing happens in a vacuum, and if representatives from operations, purchasing, sales, accounting and customer service work together, all bases will be covered for greater success.
  • Selling efforts on multi-unit/chain accounts should be coordinated among the sales force, with a “divide and conquer” approach that keeps everyone on the same page. This includes product information, pricing, and logistical details.Create:

Create:

  • Easy to understand selling guides should be created between marketing, purchasing, and sales as “cheat sheets” or multi-functional POS sheets to share with customers. This serves to help the customers understand the products better for easier purchasing decisions, and it helps the selling team know the right features and benefits to promote the products with minimal effort.
  • Easy to understand selling guides should be created between marketing, purchasing, and sales as “cheat sheets” or multi-functional POS sheets to share with customers. This serves to help the customers understand the products better for easier purchasing decisions, and it helps the selling team know the right features and benefits to promote the products with minimal effort.
  • E-mails/social media shares/posts can be created to share product and industry information publicly, as easy to access customer tools that can be shared within their organization as well as yours. This also serves to create a public image of your company as being a knowledgeable and reliable source of information.

Sharing information in an easy-to-understand, easy-to-access manner means learning takes place faster. As all teams learn to share, create and coordinate, you’ll maximize your company sales by increasing product and industry knowledge. As e-commerce grows and technology improves, a lot of product information can be found online, but nothing replaces the experience and knowledge of a well-coordinated company sales team with effective and consistent communication.
Your methods for achieving communication success may vary, whether it is sales meetings, newsletters, a company intranet, or just good old-fashioned e-mailing. The most important thing to remember is that good communication is priceless, and serves to support everyone’s goals and a healthy bottom line in the end.


 

Amy-Ullsperger-RJ-SchinnerAmy Ullsperger is a National Account Manager for RJ Schinner Company, an independent redistributor partner to Universal Unilink customers. Amy has 5 years of experience in redistribution with marketing and account management responsibilities, as well as over a decade of experience in the foodservice and retail industry.

RJ Schinner is a family owned company that has proudly been in business for over 65 years, supplying the industry with foodservice disposables, paper products, and janitorial supplies. The company currently has branches in 14 states, and employs over 60 sales representatives across four regions.

 

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