Company X – Rethinking Distributor RelationshipsStarted as an IBI, switched to full-blown Management

Problem – Company X was new to the U.S. market with no brand recognition. The market already had well-known U.S. brands it would have to compete with.

MI’s Solution – We created a Key Distributor Plan for a Push marketing strategy that included:

  • Vetted members for exclusivity
  • Defined territories
  • Offered unique benefits
  • Created a sense of partnership

Deep Dive – The company originally hired MI for back-office services and used two high-paid salespeople with industry experience, but no experience either establishing and managing new operations or working with foreign companies. From the very beginning, this organizational setup proved to be dysfunctional. It was evident that the U.S. company needed a U.S. manager who could also serve as a cultural bridge with the Italian parent company. MI took on the CEO role and hired an industry veteran as the National Sales Manager.

Next, it became apparent that trying to break into a niche industrial product market where distributors were already loyal to the competition proved difficult for a foreign company with no brand recognition. Under MI’s leadership, staff examined the landscape and targeted ideal distributors. We defined territories to avoid internal competition and offered tiered incentives as sales targets were met. Working with the company’s staff, MI developed everything from branded merchandise to exclusive trips to offer to successful distributors. As MI encouraged Company X to treat distributors as part of the team, the distributors in turn became more loyal. As a result, they felt taken care of and were more inclined to recommend the company’s products to their customers. Consequently, U.S. sales soared.

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