Increase Your Profit
By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
Including visits to fall and spring markets at High Point and/or summer and winter visits to Las Vegas in your annual budget can offer you opportunities to increase your profit, whether you provide purchasing services or just specify product.
First, if you offer purchasing services for your clients, what kind of discounts have you negotiated from your resources – or have you just accepted whatever discount they offer without asking them if they offer a deeper discount?
If you tend to jump from resource to resource when searching for product for your clients, without developing a strong relationship with at least a few manufacturers, then you will probably need to be satisfied with the basic discount they offer – and surrender the possibility of a better discount to increase your profit. But if you are interested in increasing your profit, then identify those resources who offer products that your firm regularly uses and who offer outstanding quality and service and deepen your relationship. Then, meet with them at market and use that opportunity to talk to them about how you might receive a deeper discount. Come prepared with facts and figures of how much business you have done with their company over the past few years – and then talk to them about receiving a deeper discount. You might negotiate an annual rebate based on a certain level of sales for the year. You are assuring them of your commitment to the relationship and your firm’s commitment to a certain amount of purchasing from them over 12 months. This commitment is a win for both of you and most likely will build a stronger relationship – which definitely increases the value you offer your clients.
There are some companies with whom you can connect at market who already have established a “stocking dealer” price – with a deeper discount. The term “stocking dealer” usually defines a “vendor that stocks a certain inventory level of goods at all times.”
Because of the volume of products they carry, they receive a better discount, but depending on the resource, they may offer the same discount without your having to establish inventory if you can prove you have done a large enough volume of annual purchasing from them. But you won’t know unless you ask!
Now, even if you only specify product, attending market offers the opportunity to identify products that are not commonly shown in the retail marketplace, thereby increasing the value you offer.
This past spring market at High Point featured the product of 30 factory-direct manufacturers from around the world that have not previously exhibited in the U.S. What a wonderful opportunity for those design firms who attended spring market to identify and connect with new unique resources – one more way to add show how you add value to your clients!