How often do you meet with your supplier or brand partner?
Are your meetings focused and strategy driven?
Do you leave those meetings feeling like you’ve accomplished something?
Your meetings with your supplier and brand partner are a vital part of effectively running your business. Utlimately, your supplier can better your profits and help you with your staff but you need to allow them to do that and not just view them as someone you order from and who then in turn simply delivers products.
The closer your relationship with your supplier, the better your bottom line. THIS IS FACT.
Take a few minutes to quickly complete the questionnaire below, simple yes or no answers will do. This is an audit of your brand partner / supplier relationship.
|YES / NO|
|I personally meet my brand partners once a month whether in person or online (Depending on volume of business and staff compliment perhaps twice a month)|
|I personally meet my brand partner once a quarter whether in person or online|
|I personally meet my brand partner twice a year, in person|
|I book time with my manager and therapists and brand partners once a month, whether in person or online, to assist in promotion sell through|
|I book time with my manager, therapists and brand partners once a quarter whether in person or online to refresh product knowledge or treatment ideas|
|I ensure my manager is fully trained once a year in all the brands we stock|
|I ensure my therapist team is fully trained once a year in all the brands we stock|
|I ensure that we purchase the brands promotional offers to maximise our profit, whether used in the month the promotion is offered or the following month|
|I work closely with my brand partner on staff incentives|
|I ensure to drive the team to achieve the incentives put in place by measuring daily and checking daily how they doing towards achieving their prizes|
|I ensure to attend brand partner events and launches every year if they host them|
|I ensure my manager attends brand partner events and launches every year, if they host them|
|I ensure my therapist team is offered the opportunity to attend brand events and launches every year, if they host them|
|I ask my brand partner if there is any programme or incentive for my business to get better margins|
|If presented with an opportunity to improve margin, I implement and drive it|
|I ensure that my brand partner social media content is used every week as part of my social media content|
|I organize an event for each brand that I stock at least once a year with a focused drive on that specific brand and ensure my brand partner is a part of the event and the marketing leading up to it|
|If a product or range or brand is not selling in my business I first do a self evaluation and introspective /internal analysis of why internally this could be happening and also research as to why not and then get my brand partner involved in brainstorming ideas on how to change it and improve|
|If I am thinking of changing brands and discontinuing a brand I first give my brand partner the opportunity to correct or change anything that might be making me think of changing|
|I make effective use of my brand partner to assist me with setting par levels|
|I make effective use of my brand partner by asking them to assist with suggested orders on a monthly basis based on my stock take|
|I make effective use of my brand partner by asking them to analyse the sales by item (every six months) over the last 6 – 12 month period to see any patterns, buying trends, items not selling etc|
You should have ALL YES answers. If there are any NO’s, well, you know what you have to do. I will guarantee you that if you turn the NO’s on this audit checklist into YES’s, you will see a dramatic turnaround in revenue and staff morale and you will also notice that you get a lot more attention from your brand partner than before!
Your brand partner / supplier meetings should have structure to them to maximise the benefit. In terms of time, 30 minutes will do but one hour is better! If you want to socialize because you are friends, then book a second session but this is a “LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS” session.
Here is your meeting AGENDA;
1.Review the past month figures. This means the following must all be ready: unit sales of the brand, unit sales per therapist to see who is selling the most, treatment sales of all treatments, using the brand and treatment sales by therapist.
2.Stock take. For maximum benefit you as the owner/manager should have done a stock take and printed out the values ready for your supplier. The days of the supplier taking stock for you are long gone so be prepared and you will get more benefit out of your time together.
3.Any incentives due.
4.Top performing therapist for the brand for the previous month
5.Any problems/challenges that require supplier intervention/assistance
6.Book/confirm training as required. Training should be booked three to four months in advance so this point should be confirming the next months training
7.Go over the next month marketing and promotional activity
8.Finalise any future events
9.Finalise the next quarter promotions
10.Set next appointment date.
This should take you 30 minutes if both parties are prepared and remain focused and on task. Important here is to get the business done and dusted and then have coffee and a social catch up. The social element of the visit is very important so don’t leave it out but I do find often the social element is first, leaving very little time to actually gain full benefit from the information the supplier has to share.
Every single visit should accompany time with the therapist team. At least 30 minutes if not an hour. Remember your supplier/brand partner will bring a different dynamic to your team so whilst the supplier is not responsible to train or motivate .
I have one final word to say on this subject. I encourage all managers / owners to put their egos aside and actually get the maximum benefit from their brand partners by spending time with them, listening and learning. You never know what you can learn or what new insight you gain from that time.
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Till next week,