MDCE 2012: Ways for manufacturers’ reps to boost revenue

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“What do dealers want from you?”

That was the question posed by Don Cooper, “The Sales Heretic,” who asked marine manufacturers’ reps to outline their goals for 2013 sales during a training workshop this morning at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.

“They want to know market trends, industry trends and economic trends, and now a lot of political trends as people are figuring out that what happens in politics kind of affects the economy,” Cooper told a room of about 150 representatives.

Dealers want to know how they compare with other dealers and they want to know what opportunities there are for increasing sales. They also want to know what competitors are doing.

“Dealers need to understand the difference between investment and expenses,” Cooper said. “Too many dealers cut all their expenses and investments and don’t understand why revenue falls down.”

There are five ways to increase revenue: more prospects, better closing, higher margin, larger orders and increasing the frequency of sales, Cooper told the group.

Reps also have earned the right to give dealers “a kick in the butt” if they’re not able to sell boats. Patience and persistence are key ways to do this, Cooper said.

“I would actually urge manufacturers to cut dealers if they’re hurting your sales,” Cooper said. “Sometimes you have to be tough.”

“It’s good,” said Ross Stewart of Mercury Marine. “A lot of guys in here do a lot of these things, but it’s always good to remember about following all the steps.”

As the group adjourned for a 15-minute break, one representative left the room telling his colleague: “Good stuff.”

Read more about the dealer conference in Tuesday’s Trade Only Today and in the January issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— Reagan Haynes

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