A Solid Business Footing: The 7Ps – That’s Right, Seven! (Part V of IX)

From last week…

“Sort of.” Marka gently corrected her boss. “The place where we do business is changing. Zoot’s runners have the greater Olympus region reasonably well covered. At some point, though, we should consider expanding our sales efforts beyond the four corners of Olympus.”

Now, on to part five of this nine-part series. Remember, fire = print.

“There’s Mesopotamia to the north, or the Saracens to the south,” Org said.

“But ‘place’ in the marketing sense includes more than geography,” Marka said. “It also means how we sell and to whom.”

“One example is whether FEI should continue selling mostly to consumers or consider selling directly to dealers, vendors, wholesalers and other potential business partners,” Zoot offered.

“That’s part of it,” Marka replied. “The consumer fire market is crowded to say the least, and business-to-business (B2B) sales opportunities are everywhere. We can and should consider selling through dealers and wholesalers.”

“Why?” Org asked. “We lose valuable management control over the sales process.”

“But letting up a little control of the sales process will lead to a larger sales reach,” Marka said. “With B2B sales, we’ll be able to potentially sell through a variety of trusted wholesaler, distributor and retail partners—all of which will help us gain more exposure in markets we couldn’t fully penetrate on our own. Also, by relinquishing responsibility of the consumer sale to our B2B partners, we’ll be able to lower our investment in, ahem, sales resources. Sorry, Zoot.”

“We’ll always need salespeople—otherwise, who will sell to the businesses themselves?” Zoot said confidently.

Lucy changed the subject: “More and more fire buying decisions are being made online these days. Shouldn’t ‘place’ include the O-Web as well?”

“Absolutely,” Marka said nodding her head. “The bottom line is we need to know how the distribution of our products is going to occur.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or tj@tjtedesco.com.
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