I had a question about exclusive territory contracts by a small company trying to get started. Here are some things to think about relating to exclusive sales territories.
1) only do one territory until they have proven themselves.
2) get their sales forecast as well as their marketing expense forecast. Bottom line is that you are after sales, not exposure.
3) get both of these on a monthly schedule so that if they don’t do what they say, you have the option to bow out of the relationship without a lot of hassle. The way life works, you can pretty much count on somebody really awesome coming along a day after you sign a one year exclusive contract. You need options that are easy to take – so plan for obstacles and opportunities up front.
I am the type that doesn’t like to do cold calling for sales. I just got back for a digital signage conference, and one of the key things that I was reminded of (again) is that customers prefer solutions, that the customer to target selling to may never buy a thing, and marketing messages need to tie into their emotions conveying a message that solves their needs. I know that I undervalue my talents and the capabilities that the company offers. I am going to focus my efforts on getting paid for solving the needs of the many rather than trying to sell. Having the right marketing to the right people will help bring people into the “door” so that I can talk with them rather than doing cold calling. Do you know who your real buyer is and what their top line need is?
For the Online-Kiosks digital signage product, I discovered that the end user is not my customer. It is the reseller channel. Although I am still digesting the last two day’s information, advertising agencies may be my best “customer”, even though they will never buy a thing (only recommend). They talk to the customer when they want to find creative new ways to market their product. Of course everyone wants to more sales, but the emotional thing for the digital signage product is happy customers who return again and again and employees who work flawlessly as a team.
About 3 weeks ago, I put up a blog using b2evolution. There were a few posts and a few people found the site due to it. Unfortunately, it has a feature that provides credit to people who refer visitors to the blog. Within 2 weeks, my site had picked up so much traffic that it filled my space allocation with log records and used 3 times my monthly bandwidth allocation in about a week. I had to shut it down. It was abusive traffic, not the good kind. Apparently certain companies were increasing links for various products by “referring” people to the site. Turns out, it was an automated system that kept calling the site with the right header information. Some of the programs were careful to call it a couple times an hour, and some were calling it every minute to be the most active referring site. Of course search engines would crawl the page often since it was changing every minute, so the product had a link from my site to theirs. With all the blogs on the web, that product probably had tens of thousands of links to the page, bringing them high on the search engine listing. I have since changed to WordPress which does not have the most active feature. I hope I dont have to shut it down again! If you have a site that auto-generates a top referer list, be careful! Make sure that you regularly monitor your traffic. Once they get you, the site must be shut down for over a week to clear it.