Resolution: Visit my top 11-20 best customers

April 18, 2017By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing, Resolutions

by Steve Choate, business development manager, for the Resolutions blog series

As a manufacturer, you spend a large portion of time managing your top 10 retailer list. These are the retailers that generate a majority of your sales and revenue, and require a good deal of your attention.

If you’re looking for new opportunities to grow your business, however, you should look beyond your top 10 to your 11th-20th customers. With a dedicated strategy and effort, this next tier is a great place to spur new sales. These retailers are often more willing to try new and different techniques to attract customers and may collaborate on a variety of approaches. Because these companies are usually more nimble, they can provide results more quickly, allowing you to execute what is working and track your success. This could also lead to the expansion of placement of your item within your top 10.Visit my top 11-20 customers

Your 11th-20th customers might be operating in regions not currently being served by your top 10, allowing you to expand your reach. You may uncover regional differences that could affect how you present and promote your product mix.

You may also experience less liability when trying new things with this next tier since their inventory needs and reach are likely smaller. They are often more willing to work with you on unique, custom promotions that are best suited to reach their customers to make the most of your investment. Ask to localize and personalize promotions to help expand your brand awareness. The best case scenario is that your efforts here grow sales to the point that they become one of your top 10 customers.

From a business relationship standpoint, you’ll build your credibility with this tier of retailers by spending time with them, understanding their needs, and providing them with products that help them satisfy the needs of their customers. I know from my experience of working for both large and small retailers, it was very nice to have a manufacturer spend time learning about my company and partnering to help us achieve our goals and at the same time achieve theirs.

Sometimes, your larger customers take your attention to them for granted, while your next tier of customers appreciate the time you spend with them. Their appreciation and enthusiasm to work with you could generate more long-term sales and profits. Also, with all of the mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies happening within our industry today, your #15 customer might be your #8 customer tomorrow and your #3 customer may be no longer around.

Make the effort to pay attention to your top 11 through 20 customers. It will benefit your company in the future.