Old Fashion Service with Sophisticated Style
Distributors discuss how value-added product and service solutions impact sales approaches.
Offering customers the very best is not a new concept for industry sales professionals. They will tell you that this has always been their mission. But just as technology and a progressive marketplace have changed the way business is conducted, so have they changed the way salespeople approach their customers.
Today, these professionals use contemporary marketing terms and their thinking has become more proactive than reactive.
This is mainly because product and service solutions are far more sophisticated; they are value-added. This requires manufacturers to educate their distributor partners who, in turn, enlighten customers.
As a result, customers are seeing the services distributors have always provided in a newer, brighter light.
Here, three distributors discuss how to-day's super-performing products add value throughout the supply chain. They are:
- John Conelias, president, Shoreline Business Forms, Wallingford, Conn.
- Jack Schachtel, president, CTP Solutions, Aboura Hills, Calif.
- Glenn Martin, Control Printing Group, Independence, Mo.
1. In your opinion, how important is the concept of added value in counteracting declining markets?
Conelias: We started out strictly as a forms broker, but now a lot of our business has to do with plastic cards. Adding value in the card business has become very important.
We deal only with banks and credit unions for all the forms we distribute. In fact, we're not just a straight distributor anymore. We have a coding and embossing facility in Rhode Island that handles card personalization services—one example of how to add value to a product.
Schachtel: Added value has been a way of life for us since we opened our doors in 1991. It lets us differentiate ourselves from the competition. Although the concept has always been around, that specific term was not so prevalent in the past. Back then we referred to value-added products as "unique solutions."