The Successful Big Box Line Review

The Successful Big Box Line ReviewMany manufacturers fear line reviews with big boxes like Home Depot and Lowe’s. They frequently see it as an event where they have more to lose than to gain.

My friend Mark Mitchell knows what they fear and has recommendations on how to approach the line review differently. He tells about his experiences in his blog and his book. Or click here to receive his monthly building materials sales and marketing newsletter.

If you’d like to learn more about successful big box line reviews. Read Mark’s original blog post here.

And it works. Here’s his follow up post A Line Review Success Story sharing the strategy and positive outcome of one of his clients.

What manufacturers fear going in to a line review

  1. Demands for even lower prices
  2. Fewer sku’s
  3. Having to fund promotional programs
  4. Worse placement
  5. A new competitor in the category

Most companies go into a line review with three simple goals

  1. Stay on shelf
  2. Defend their margin
  3. Grow their share of category sales

According to Mark Mitchell, here’s what you should do in a Home Depot or Lowe’s line review

  1. Grow a pair
  2. Think about the buyer and not just yourself
  3. Do your homework
  4. Paint them a picture

Don’t approach a line review as a chance to throw products at the buyer and see what sticks

Don't Get Told No With These PowerPoint Sales HacksI spoke to that point in my post 4 Essential Steps to Winning with Buyers in a Product Line Review.

You need to have a vision about how the big box will be more successful with you than without you. You need to bring that vision to life so the buyer can see it.

The goal is for the buyer to say, “That just makes sense.” Buyers are human beings and many times will make decisions based on their gut feeling. They will then use data to support their decision.

You want to show the buyer no one is more committed to their success than you as you continually bring them ideas to make them more successful.

The line review process is a validation step for the retailer

Is Your Sales Team Asking The Right Pricing QuestionsRemember they are ultimately confirming that they are offering “the right product, sold for the right price, at the right place and time.”

To be better prepared for a line review, check out my post Are You Ready For Your Product Line Review?

Good Selling!

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26 Roadblocks To B2B Marketing Success

Profit inhibitors are roadblocks to your B2B marketing success.

This checklist will help you think about possible barriers that you are facing with your brand, product or service. More importantly, it will get you to focus on how do you plan to overcome the profit inhibitors that are impacting your marketing programs?

Profit Inhibitors

Do They Apply?

Plans To Eliminate?

1.  Absence of customer oriented thinking
2.  Inexact or inadequate marketing objectives
3.  Internal communication failure
4.  Inadequate distribution planning
5.  Lack of innovation in product, packaging, etc.
6.  Budget deficiencies in communications
7.  Failure to dominate in communication media used
8.  Misunderstanding customer motivation
9.  Too generic marketing approach/messages
10. Inadequate understanding of market and customer opinion
11. Failure to “merchandise” or follow through
12. Over-promoting (dealing) or too much “price” concern
13. Information loss from management to point-of-sale
14. Giving promotion jobs it cannot do
15. Watered-down messages due to too much committee approval
16. Failure to build-in measuring systems for all plans and programs
17. Failure to define – and influence – the corporate image
18. Imbalance between communication activities
19. Copying competition in communication activities
20  Failure to build extra benefits of quality image of product and company or service
21. Failure to update marketing strategy/ organization
22. Working in silos
23. Inflexibility of policies
24. Inadequate knowledge of competition
25. Lack of or stagnant web and social media content
26. Failure to take advantage of “competitive edge”

 What Profit Inhibitors did we overlook that are barriers to your B2B marketing success?

Good Selling!
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The 5 Top Channel Instincts Posts Of 2014 – As Chosen By You

Street Smart Guy.emfAs 2014 draws to a close, so does the second year that Channel Instincts has been blogging.

Thank you for your continued interest, readership and comments.

But not all of you have been with us for the entire journey and while we have our own favorites, your clicks have let us know which posts struck a chord and were your favorites.

#5: 5 Tips to Succeed with Big Boxes

How to Sell Lowe's and Home DepotMaybe you already sell either Lowe’s or The Home Depot or both. Maybe you eat channel conflict for breakfast. But it’s been my experience that the continuous competitive clash between orange and blue is something that is tough for many manufacturers’ to figure out.

Selling one or both of the home center big boxes is a great way to drive volume. Each, however, works hard to differentiate themselves from one another. That makes it had to sell both of them when you have a commodity category. But it’s still possible to do this without being a major consumer brand.

#4: 4 Steps to Building an Internal Communication Plan

Effective internal communication is critical to your manufacturing successCommunication is critical within any business setting, but most importantly within a manufacturing facilities − where the right communication can really impact change and translate into business success.

What’s the best way to communicate?  How much should you communicate? How do you make sure your messages are heard? This guide will take you step-by-step through the communication process. It has simple, practical, easy-to-follow information you can put to use immediately.

#3: 8 Steps to Building a Customer-Focused Commercialization Strategy

8 Steps to a Commercialization StrategyBefore a commercialization plan can be developed and implemented, it must be driven by an overall commercialization strategy. By taking a strategic approach to your commercialization strategy, you will be better positioned to be successful with your new product launch.

The commercialization strategy should not contain a lot of financial detail or “how to,” but it must be consumer focused and customer centered and not technology focused. A key issue in a commercialization strategy is to set the direction to explore and understand the market. The commercialization strategy must focus on what satisfies the needs of the customer.

#2: Are You Using a 30-60-90 Day Marketing Plan?

Hired candidate had an action planAre you joining a company with big problems?  It may be too cliché, but it probably depends on if you see the glass half empty or half full.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hiring process and your ego can get in the way of asking the right questions.  You may never uncover or, worse, miss the warning signs that would prove that you cannot gain the commitments you’d need to succeed – especially with those critical quick wins that will help you gain credibility and traction with a new employer’s organization.

If you see the opportunity, the alignment and the financial backing, then you should accept that new position but only if you have a plan for success.  If any of those pieces of missing, there’s a good chance that you will fail.

#1: 7 Steps to Writing an Internal Communications Plan

Communication-PlanCommunication is critical within any business setting, but most importantly within a manufacturing facilities − where the right communication can really impact change and translate into business success.

What’s the best way to communicate? How much should you communicate? How do you make sure your messages are heard? This guide will take you step-by-step through the communication process. It has simple, practical, easy-to-follow information you can put to use immediately.

There you are, our top-5 list for 2014.  We hope you’ve enjoyed the posts over the past year, and we invite you to stay in touch in 2015 by following me on TwitterLinkedInSlideshare or Google+.

Good Selling!