Business Question - Kinda OT


I just posted this in two metalworking groups... But I've also noticed a few folks here who may be able to provide good advice so... I'd love to hear your thoughts too. This is somewhat in the same vein as previous questions I've asked in this and other forums but possibly not quite as on topic.
Some of you seem to be making parts, tools and/or products for existing outlets or customers but there are a few of you who actually make products for a wide base of customers.
We have recently run across a number of dealers and distributors who carry competitors' product lines because of a particularly fortunate press release placement. Most of them are happy to consider carrying our product once they sell it to someone and get usage feedback. That got me to thinking...
How would you go about finding distributors and/or dealers for your product? We offer them a few incentives such as the willingness to work directly with their customer to customize the equipment without undermining their sale, etc. But there have to be other ways to build this area of the business.
Thoughts? Flames? Large internet lists of drilling equipment-specific dealers and distributors? <grin>
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 (908) 542-0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
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What was particularly fortunate about a press release placement? Why can't you reproduce the placement, and send your own press release?
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Decent sized magazine. Special issue with the subject matter focus that matched our product well. Magazine has since shrunk quite a bit... Not reproduceable per say... But we keep trying both in print and on the web.
When I get a good press release, I consider advertising with the publication or site. However, most of the publications are shrinking and most sites do no better (much worse actually) than Google and Yahoo do.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 (908) 542-0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
V8013-R
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Joe ...
<<When I get a good press release, I consider advertising with the publication or site. >>
I think you are confusing the terminology between a press release and a product review. A press release is something that comes from you. It is designed to make your product seem newsworthy to magazines and other publications or news media likely to be seen by your potential customers. The object is to get those publications to write about your product and thus expose it to those customers. One kind of story which could result from a compelling press release would be a straight news story which pretty much repeats the facts you supplied. (A magazine short on resources might even print your release verbatim rather than investing the time, energy or budget to have an actual writer come up with an original story based upon your release). Another type of story would be an actual product review focusing either on your product alone or your product and one or more similar ones. You can't really control what is said in a review except to the extent to which you produce a quality product that can't help but get good notices. However, there's no magic grapevine that will make the reviewers find you on their own. It's up to you to put yourself on their radar screens.
Lee
-- To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"
_________________________________ Lee Gordon http://www.leegordonproductions.com
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And that's how small PR agencies stay in business, and the occasional freelance writer supplements his (or her) income. You have to know, or discover, the magazines that might be interested and point the release to the magazine. The release also needs to be coherent. Some of the releases my editors pass along to me as research bases is wonderful, from the standpoint of funny, not information.
It is work. It won't do itself. It takes either time and application, or money to hire someone else's time and application, though it shouldn't be wildly expensive, though if the agency or writer buys into the various listing services for magazines and newspapers, the costs rise, because those are expensive (relatively speaking: about the cost of a small newspaper ad for a week).
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No confusion here. I just didn't share my thoughts very clearly. "When my press releases are picked up and published in a very advantageous position or manner" is probably more accurate.
--


Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
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Joe AutoDrill (in agIjf.394$GA2.57@trndny02) said:
| We have recently run across a number of dealers and distributors | who carry competitors' product lines because of a particularly | fortunate press release placement. Most of them are happy to | consider carrying our product once they sell it to someone and get | usage feedback. That got me to thinking...
You're presenting a "chicken and egg" scenario. The only solution I can see is for you to sell the customer for delivery by a local distributor (any local distributor) with the local distributor getting a the same benefits as if they'd done the selling themselves.
| How would you go about finding distributors and/or dealers for your | product? We offer them a few incentives such as the willingness to | work directly with their customer to customize the equipment | without undermining their sale, etc. But there have to be other | ways to build this area of the business.
Ask the customer: "What (local/national) distributors do you normally buy from? We'll arrange delivery through them." Then close the sale and get on the phone with the distributor. I can't imagine that there's much that'd get their attention faster than pre-sold product.
| Thoughts? Flames? Large internet lists of drilling | equipment-specific dealers and distributors? <grin>
What are you doing to motivate customers to ask their distributors for your products? If the distributors don't see motivated customers, then why would they be interested?
I'm working up to a need for a drill head for a product under development and looked (quickly) at your web sites with those future needs in mind. My reaction was: "Oh hum." I have more (and more useful) end-user drilling information on my web site than you do and I'm planning to add more - and it's not even my business area.
You might find it interesting that a lot of the visitors to those pages are using Fortune500.com, .mil, and .gov servers - and that as often as not the person with the mouse in their hand actually does pause to look at what I sell...
[Thoughts and observations, no flames, but no lists either.]
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/CNC /
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On the surface at least, this looks like a stellar idea.

Working on that... Actually as I type. Someone here has that as their project.
Now... Why didn't you call me. <grin>
Thank you for the comments.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 (908) 542-0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
V8013-R
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Joe AutoDrill (in f9Ilf.3338$605.475@trndny09) said:
| Now... Why didn't you call me. <grin>
If I'd needed it today, then I'd've called you tomorrow (for delivery yesterday). <vbg>
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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First get an MBA in marketing...
Does your product have a compelling competitive advantage? Why should a distributor carry it instead of the other brand? Is your price 20% lower? Does it run 50% faster? What? Unless you have a compelling competitive advantage you won't go anyplace very fast. Being just as good as your competitor at the same price is a big yawn; the competitor is already there.
Then you have to create a demand. Advertise. Do a trade show. Take it to potential customers and demonstrate it. Presumably the distributor is willing to sell it if he has an actual order; if you can get him some orders he will think about carrying it.
Without knowing more about the product, thats about all I can tell you.
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I disagree on the MBA, but the other points are valid. Distributors are still consumers and the motivation is the same as many consumers. . Typical scenario: I buy from Company A. They are usually a week late with deliveries, but I build that in for my customer. They break, but they are fast sending replacement parts. They give a good discount, they let me take 60 days to pay. They sent me Red Sox tickets last year. Their product can be made to work and I'm too lazy to get off my ass and find a better product as long as people still buy this.
Get into the distributor and talk to the sales reps or order desk and make them aware of your product. Couple of pizzas can do wonders. .
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"Distributors are still consumers and the motivation is the same as many consumers."
Thinking that way is a BIG mistake. Distributors (and retailers) are entities that deliver your product to consumers. Unlike a consumer, they have no intention of owning what you make. They buy your product because they believe someone is going to buy it from them.
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"Distributors are still consumers and the motivation is the same as many consumers."
Thinking that way is a BIG mistake. Distributors (and retailers) are entities that deliver your product to consumers. Unlike a consumer, they have no intention of owning what you make. They buy your product because they believe someone is going to buy it from them.
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I need an MBA to know this? :)

More like 50% in some cases, but that's another thread...

I assume you ask this not because you want a defense from me, but to spur me on towards ideas on how to get their attention. Truth be told, I can justify our product over just about anyone else's out there... But I don't generally know who to justify it to these days. Finding the distributors with enough head knowedge to engage customers is tough.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 (908) 542-0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills: http://www.AutoDrill.com Multiple Spindle Drills: http://www.Multi-Drill.com
V8013-R
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A few.
Hard work. Innovation. Hard work. Learn about the competition. Hard work. Integrity. Hard work. NEVER make commitments you can't keep. Hard work. Never speak ill of the competition. (They might want to buy your ass someday if you're pesky enough.) Hard work. Buy Robatoy's motivational tapes for US$ 1600.00 Hard work. And last, but not least, learn the difference between FAB and AFAB: Features, Advantages and Benefits vs Anything For A Buck.
Catchy phrases..... like
Ever find yourself in a drill pickle?
Holier than theirs.
The Drill Team.
*looking around in a panic...* somebody help me here...
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LOL.. Good stuff...
The stuff I clipped was good too, but not as fun as this.
--


Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
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