Extraordinary Results Require Extraordinary Efforts

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Being responsible for business development in a geographical area five times larger than the UK is a privilege that gives me a macro-view of trends in my channel.

One thing I’ve noticed is that my dealers who are experiencing growth (not just with me, but overall) are capitalizing on new and often unconventional opportunities.

In order to get extraordinary results they’re going beyond what they’ve ordinarily done.

The dealers who are still trying to do business like they did ten, or even five years ago aren’t faring nearly as well.

Part of that success can be traced to embracing new technologies and product categories.

When I think back to what was the bread and butter of my income in the late 1990s most of it doesn’t exist anymore: VCRs, editing decks and videotape. It’s all been eliminated by new technology.

Even the categories that still exist, like TVs and camcorders are nowhere near as profitable today as they were then.

That’s ancient history, so let’s use a more up to date example: Bluetooth devices.

Bluetooth voice products may not be dead, but the category is definitely on life support.

Evidence of the declining demand for earpieces and visor speakers is the way that Bluetooth manufacturers are busting out into new product categories, from fitness trackers to potted plant monitors.

I’m not making that last one up, either.

The dealers I have who are up year over year are the ones who’ve gone through the stages of grief over declining categories, have reached acceptance, and are courting new categories.

Perhaps more importantly, they’re courting new customers.

Not just retail end-users, but new business accounts, typically in industries and channels that they haven’t worked with in the past.

Back in March, I attended Calgary’s annual Boat and Sportsman’s show, and was heartened to see one of my dealers there, partnered with a boat dealer: taking care of the AV/GPS and Nav needs of their boat buyers.

Much of the growth in my channel is coming from 12-volt AV and truck toy dealers embracing fleet services for business customers and the products that will give those customers constant voice and data contact with their crews and work vehicles in remote areas.

The only thing stopping me from going on with more examples is the acknowledgement that most of them will be of little direct relevance to most rAVe readers.

If there’s any takeaway that will benefit readers, it’s to peek your head up from the box you’re currently working in, and keep a very open mind with regard to new partnerships. Look at other businesses and channels, and ask yourself “what can I do for them?”

It may not even take something as formal as a cold call from your salespeople. Having a cup of coffee with the owner of another business in the industrial strip your office is located in may yield a profitable relationship for both of you.