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!

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.

How To Tell If It’s Time To Fire Your Ad Agency

Should You Fire Your Ad AgencyGoing through an ad agency review for a is both difficult and energizing. Every meeting brings new insights. You see opportunities, solid creative and begin to see how this could help bridge some of your sales gaps.

Make no mistake, the effort involved is overwhelming in identifying and selecting a new marketing communications firm. Programs are on hold and the team is making do because the compelling new marketing theme/tagline/look is just around the corner. That’s the hope anyway.

Is it time to fire your ad agency?

Is It Time To Fire Your Ad AgencyMark Mitchell and I discuss this topic in length in his recent blog Is it Time to Fire Your Agency? posted on Whizard Strategy.

While there are a few good B2B client/agency relationships, Mark has seen over and over that find the majority of them are not very strong.  The result is that the client doesn’t get the results they should.

We explore 10 key situations that undermine a strong relationship.

  1. They don’t understand your business
  2. Purchase motivations are more complicated and nuanced than, “The customer will make more money selling your product”
  3. They don’t ask why
  4. They think increased spending is the only way to succeed
  5. You don’t have access to the leaders
  6. Constant turnover of your team
  7. What is their measure of success?
  8. A focus on creativity over strategy
  9. You feel taken for granted
  10. You can’t imagine the agency leaving you

More importantly, we provided you an actionable Ask Yourself tip to each one to help you better understand if that might be your situation.

There are a lot of agencies who do a good job of servicing their clients. Mark notes, “In my experience, there are a lot more who make a number of these mistakes. It’s like any good relationship, you have to work at it and not just take things for granted.”

What if the problem is you?

Time To Fire Your Ad AAgencyMark and I also see a lot of good agencies who can’t do a good job because their client gets in the way.  I know – I’ve been that client. Here are some ways this happens.

  1. Thinking that you are the creative person
  2. You hold back information
  3. You are cheap

Agency client relationships are the best when both groups are open and honest about the issues the business is facing and what it will take to overcome them. When these relationships are true partnerships, both companies will ultimately succeed and grow.

Good Selling!

About The Authors: Mark Mitchell is a Sales and Marketing Consultant who specializes in helping business owners and senior executives in the building materials industry overcome difficult sales problems. Using his extensive hands-on experience, he shows them how to creative effective strategies to identify and eliminate blind spots that allow them to get past the roadblocks that keep them from realizing their revenue goals. Click here to learn more about his one-day workshop “Selling Today’s Building Materials Prospect.” Or sign up for his monthly building material marketing newsletter here. 

Greg Bonsib gives his perspective from the client side. Greg has extensive experience in working with agencies in his marketing leadership positions at ODL, Owens Corning, Rubbermaid, Sentry Safe and Zenith Products. Greg also publishes an industry leading blog on Channel Marketing.

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.

What’s Wrong with Lowe’s and Home Depot?

What’s Wrong with Lowe’s and Home DepotOur friend, Mark Mitchell, is a whizard at helping building materials companies solve their tough sales & marketing problems.  Like us, he shares his views on how to win in the marketplace with his Whizard Strategy Blog.

Not too long ago he wrote a post on What’s Wrong with Big Boxes?  He points out that big box retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot are playing not to lose – instead of playing to win – and that is creating opportunity for you to shine in your sales and marketing efforts.

He starts his blog off by saying: “If the goal is to maximize sales, margins and customer satisfaction, there’s a lot wrong.  There’s a lot of missed opportunity for both big boxes and building product manufacturers.  Anytime someone is as successful as big boxes are, they start to avoid risk and blind spots develop.  This results in big boxes settling for growth that is lower than what’s possible in category after category – including yours.”

Gaps that seem as obvious as the nose on your face

as obvious as the nose on your faceHe shares eight glaring gaps that seem as obvious as the nose on your face.  Of course, these blind spots are all opportunities for you to capitalize on and help grow their sales while growing yours as well.

He wraps up with: “If you change your mentality from “those big box stores are killing me” to “how can I change the game by growing their business”, you will be rewarded with more sales, new product placement and, ultimately, higher margins.”

 

Be sure to also check out the Channel Instincts post 5 Tips to Succeed with Big Boxes for more tips on how to win with Lowe’s and Home Depot.