How many times in business have you said: “I really do not like working with him/her or ‘that company’.” I have heard so many doctors, buyers, and dispensers say this over the years and my response is always “Well then why work with them? There are plenty of choices out there! It’s not like you need to work with them.”
One of the great unspoken truths in retail buying – and for that matter – business in general, is that it is always more enjoyable to work with people you trust, people you like, and people you know will treat you fairly. There may be times you have to work with someone who does not meet these criteria, but in many cases you can always find an alternative to those who just give you the “wrong feeling”.
In our industry – and I will focus on frame buying where relationships matter and there is plenty of choice – I am a big advocate for working with those you trust and like. This is NOT to say work exclusively with a sales representative with whom you have been friends for 20 years just because you have been friendly, but I do believe it is important to TRUST the vendors you buy from. WHY??
In many cases, buyers purchase brands or collections they feel they need – the “hot” brand of the moment (and in most cases, the one everyone else has as well) or the brand they saw in competitors’ stores. And in many of these cases, you can feature the brand or the collection, but you do not get the added benefits of working with a true vendor partner. I feel this is the wrong approach. You should ALWAYS work with a true partner and not just a brand you feel you need.
You will always get more out of a product when you trust and enjoy working with the people behind the product. They will want the product to sell through as much, if not more, than you do.
- They will be more willing to help with in-store training and merchandising.
- They will be more supportive in both the good and (inevitably) the bad times.
- They will tell you the truth, rather than just trying to make a sale.
- They will have your best interests in mind as opposed to the best interest of the company they represent.
- In short – they will go the extra mile for YOU.
Remember – the point of view in your store/dispensary is more important than showcasing a brand you think you need. With the right doctor/patient connection and level of trust, most consumers will buy something you suggest and you like instead of the mega brand they thought they wanted. In most cases, the luxury product will offer more value and better quality than the most famous brand names available. And if the vendor is going to go the extra mile for you, you will be able to offer more added value to your store AND the end consumer.
As always, I welcome all comments. Is this something with which you have experience? Please share! Thank you.
And lastly – GO GIANTS!!!!!