Are Your Employees REALLY Working?
An old business owner joke goes like this; a reporter one day asked the CEO of a major company, “So, how many employees are working in your company?” The CEO replied, “approximately half of them”.
It’s funny, but the problem is, it’s not necessarily a joke! Today with the ever-expanding network of digital and social capabilities, the problem is getting worse, not better.
A fortune.com article stated that the average worker spends a full day of the work week doing things other than, work! Paying an employee for 8 hours and getting only 6 hours of quality time is troubling, at the least.
According to an article posted by thebalancecareers.com, the most significant reasons why workers waste time were:
35% were not challenged enough
32% felt that there was no incentive to work harder
30% got no satisfaction from what they do, and
23% were just downright bored.
It’s no surprise that motivated employees with clear expectations get more done than those that simply show up and do what they “think” should be done. The trick is, how do you keep them motivated?
ENS Media’s “10 Leadership Tactics to Inspire Performance” suggests it starts with hiring. Hire on attitude and effort, you can train them on the skills required. Task #4 suggests you have “clear expectations”. Most people appreciate clear direction and boundaries and will “respect only what you inspect”. Make sure they understand that doing non-work-related tasks are not tolerated, and you can bet the time wasted will be far less.
If you would like a copy of the “10 Leadership Tactics to Inspire Performance”, click here.
The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease
All of your suppliers have a vested interest in your success, and most of them have access to extraordinary marketing funds and resources beyond traditional co-op to help you sell more of their products.
The problem is, seldom does anyone ask for these funds! If you don’t access those funds, you are literally throwing money away, or worse yet, your competitors will scoop those funds and use them against you.
In our “How to Leverage Your Suppliers” Marketing Muscle, tactic number one is “Tender your Next Ad Campaign”. Present a written proposal for submissions for marketing support from all of your suppliers outlining your proposed advertising schedule and investment, along with any special displays, promotions, demonstrations or other exposure the winning bidder will receive.
Many business owners believe their hands are tied to rigid manufacturers’ restrictions if they use manufacturers’ co-op advertising funds, but seldom is this the case. The Squeaky Wheel, often times gets the grease!
If you are an appliance dealer, for example, and you sell GE and Whirlpool, your GE representative has a vested interest in you featuring GE versus Whirlpool in your ad.
If you make a presentation outlining the kind of campaign you propose to sell more GE without using the standard GE script or ad copy that the manufacturer supplies, it will generally be approved by their office because they don’t want your campaign to feature their competitor.
Still, other businesses opt not to leverage their suppliers’ marketing muscle because it takes time and effort. In today’s competitive environment you need to take advantage of every competitive edge you can.
SoundADvice is a co-production of this station and ENS Media USA to help local businesses increase their sales and their return on investment in advertising. Your SoundADvice marketing tips are emailed to you on our behalf from ENS Media USA.
ENS Media USA’s address is: 6523 S. Killarney Ct., Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108
How to Leverage Your Suppliers’ Marketing Muscle
All of your suppliers have a vested interest in your success; the more you sell, the more they sell. And they all have marketing departments with the experience, expertise, and funds to help you create more successful advertising campaigns. Accessing this marketing muscle is a classic case of “Ask and ye shall receive”.
1.) Tender Your Next Ad Campaign. Present a written proposal for submissions, to all of your suppliers, outlining your proposed advertising schedule and investment, along with any special displays, promotions, demonstrations or other exposure the winning bidder will receive. Have a deadline for submissions and be prepared to make a commitment to buy from the winning supplier.
2.) Think Beyond Cash. Your suppliers have more to offer than cash, credits or discounts. They often have branded advertising specialties or prizes they can offer for your campaign. They might also offer their vehicle presence for “truckload sales” or arrange factory demos at your place of business.
3.) Leverage Your Suppliers’ Expertise. Ask your suppliers to participate in your sales training program. They often have trainers that can and will train your people how to sell their products at no cost to you.
4.) Ask for Exclusivity. Where applicable, ask to be the first in your market to introduce a new line, or ask for a period of exclusivity. In some cases, you may be able to persuade a supplier to “private brand” their product specifically for you. When you have a private label or period of exclusivity, you are able to capture larger margins because consumers can’t make direct product-to-product comparisons with your competitors.
5.) Participate in Your Suppliers’ Promo Calendar. Many suppliers have promotions like traveling road shows, demos, personality appearances and more. Ask to see their promotions calendar and negotiate. Try to make your location a player in their events.
6.) Capture the Co-op Due to You. Regional sales and marketing managers do not like to see co-op funds go unused. If you don’t use the budgeted funds by year-end, they’ll often roll them into another fund to be utilized by your competitors. Schedule some time to understand what co-op is available to you and get your fair share. Consider asking near year-end if there are unused funds you could capture.