If your customers resell your products or services to someone else, the best way to improve your sales is to concentrate on helping these accounts sell more.

One way to generate instant income is to help your dealers, distributors, retailers and accounts sell more to their own database of names — through a proven strategy called “co-op marketing.”

With a co-op marketing program, you put up promotional items and/or bonuses that help your accounts sell more to their end users.

While your first reaction might be that co-op advertising is too complicated for your small business, rest assured that it doesn’t need to be.  In fact, you can create a simple program that’s easy to manage and low-cost, too.

Start by surveying your dealers and distributors with the message that you want to help them sell more.  Survey your least active accounts first.  Ask them what they need in order to sell more of your products and services:

  • Do they need training, stand-up displays, special incentives for their sales force?
  • Do they need a smaller sized package, different case quantities, or a different bundle of services than you offer?

Based on the answers you get, offer to deliver on their requests if a dealer will present a special offer to their customers.  What you’ll create is a true co-op program — meaning that both of you must take action.

Be aware that some dealers might want cash rebates made directly to dealers.  Or they may ask for manufacturer’s discounts, that are then rebated to the stores selling the product.  Avoid these cash giveaways. Investigate other ways to sell your products and services instead.

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