July 20, 2008

Dislodging A Current Vendor and Your Competitor!

Acquiring a new account requires skill and perseverance under the best of circumstances and if the current supplier is satisfactory to the retailer, you will need a compelling reason to meet with success and dislodge the product from the set!
Here are several ideas that will assist you when going up against a strong competitor:
Look for 'change' events -
Buyer Changes, the new buyer will often review the category and in search of opportunities.
Reorganizations - the company's priorities and programs could go into review and your product offerings and programs might appear much stronger with new management initiatives.
Market Forces - a competitive product or encroaching retailer might open the door for your product.
Changes at Competitor - a key executive or contact might leave the company and so might the allegiance to that particular supplier.
Supplier Failure - a service, supply, or financial issue might mean an opening for you to present and get your shot at the retailer.
Try to identify opportunities to work on an in/out special or some other opportunity that goes around this entrenched competitor until you can garner buyer support. Is there a special pack or product you can supply that they are looking for or some special product that might only be carried in the largest locations?
Be sure to focus on your strength and the area of your best and most effective production/product capability. Play your game. How can you best demonstrate to the buyer your specific strength and consumer demographic?
They are looking for great products and innovative ideas! Be sure you are emphasizing how your product is special and unique and identifies with specific customers.
Usually, it will take considerable time and effort to find the right opening for your product in a competitive situation and sometimes it might feel lucky when you get a call out of the blue but it is often the result of some supplier circumstance along with your systematic relationship building activity at the account.
Relationships can change and you need to be very selective with your time investment and activity when going up against an entrenched competitor. Be selective and focus on the opportunity's where the rewards accompanied with the risks and time investment will be of benefit to your company.
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