Selling to Hardware Stores
Despite competitive pressure, there are still openings for emerging entrepreneurs to sell into the hardware store market. With these useful selling tips, you can improve your sales model and increase your returns when selling to hardware stores.
There are no universal approaches for selling to hardware stores. The basis for success is the same as it is in many other industries.
In any B2B industry, one of the major factors in long-term success is the ability to expand your customer base. The good news is that hardware stores are plentiful, but the challenge is to acquire and retain new accounts.
How to Evaluate Sales Staff
Frequent employee evaluations are a must for companies that sell in this industry. Businesses that achieve significant market share hire quality candidates and routinely evaluate them against performance goals and benchmarks.
Although annual reviews may suffice for other business units, sales units should be evaluated quarterly with monthly or weekly reviews of sales totals. Training, coaching and sales incentives can be useful for improving performance and revenues. In some instances, it may be appropriate to team underperforming sales reps with reps that have more experience selling to hardware stores.
Know the Competition
Companies who sell to hardware stores face no small amount of competitive pressure.
Although it may not seem like it, there are many other businesses that sell similar product lines. Subsequently, hardware stores are regularly targeted for prospecting and tend to be very knowledgeable about their buying options.
By researching the competition, you gain the ability to create an effective value proposition. Although there are many ways to research your competitors, discussions with hardware stores themselves may be the best source of information.
Message First, Targets Second
Messaging is an important part of a successful sales strategy. Confused messaging dilutes the sales cycle and makes it challenging for your customers to discern the value of your products.
Whenever possible, the identification of key messaging should be incorporated into a comprehensive planning process that combines sales and marketing into a comprehensive strategy.
The next step is to reduce your contact list to the contacts who are most likely to respond to your messaging. Although there are multiple ways to generate leads, lead lists can be a useful resource for generating a list of prospects that are receptive to your messaging. Vendors like Experian are skilled at providing targeted lists of hardware stores that can be customized to your precise specifications.
Have Friends Who Might Like This Article?
Let them know on LinkedIn
Ready to Learn More? We Think You Might Like These Articles:
Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs