Making cooperations a success: let’s work together!
Cooperations? Many traditional direct selling companies will say that they probably do not need them. After all, they produce most of their products themselves, they have their own sales force, a direct route to the consumer, and therefore, most importantly, there is no need to promote their offer next to competitors’ products in retail stores. So, why cooperate? Because even direct sales companies can benefit greatly from cooperations.
The personal access to consumers, and the possibility to show and demonstrate products in a private, competition-free environment is one of the central advantages and reasons for the success of traditional direct sales. For instance, the well-known ‘party concept’ offers a sales platform that provides a presentation space, as well as giving easy access to potential customers and, above all, enabling high-quality consumer contact.
In a cooperation, roles are distributed clearly. Of course, any direct sales company will be mainly focused on promoting their own products on „their“ sales party, giving detailed advice and possibly a practical demonstration. However, it is also clear that anything that genuinely enriches the sales process, makes it more interesting and supports success, is positive and welcome. Little extras make the sales contact as well as the party more worthwhile for consumers.
Thinking about cooperations therefore makes sense. A group of party guests, who have met in a private environment to learn about the products of a direct sales company are the ideal target group for sampling – snacks, chocolates and drinks of all kinds are obvious candidates for this. In addition, market launches of new products, or new variants of old products, by well-known brands also serve as a fantastic opportunity for a cooperation.
However, opportunities for cooperation are not limited to the sampling of food or drinks – there are in fact many other forms of possible cooperations, such as the promotion of a new film, the distribution of a magazine or a voucher, or even a great offer for a new coffee machine, that can easily be done.
But how does the sales force, the consultant, of the respective direct sales company react? Almost always positively. Because everyone likes to have a little extra at hand, as a surprise for the host and/or the guests. In other words, whatever supports my core business must, by default, be positive.
Collaborations are a fantastic way to create benefits for all parties involved and make everyone a winner. However, agreeing cooperations requires a sure instinct and strong knowledge of the mechanisms, framework, and capabilities of direct sales, as well as of those of a classic manufacturer which sells its products through retail channels.
It is clear that the worlds of (retail) trade and direct sales function very differently, and both follow their own ‘laws’. But collaborations between the two usually work very well, as I know from my previous role as Head of the B2B and Cooperations team of a large direct selling company. And the benefits are much greater for all parties involved than most managers on both sides would likely expect them to be. Therefore: let’s work together!
Until next time!
Dr. Michael Raffel, Die Direktvertriebsberater