Quite a few Media Publishers and Agencies that the Co-op Connect team works with all mention they are having a hard time retaining a sales staff. I do know that these companies spend a lot of time training their staff on their product line and how to pitch it. It is tough for them to go through the entire training process only to lose the folks a short time later. At the same time, they are also trying to retain existing customers, which is interesting when they don’t see the same person from one visit to the next. There is a lot to be said about the relationship and trust built between the sales rep and their customers/advertisers year after year.
One thing that goes a long way in building the relationship (which is helpful with a brand-new rep), is bringing up co-op funding in the sales process. Co-op is a great sales tool as it shows your customers that you took the time to research their business to see how you can help them “offset” their advertising expenses.
Here is a situation we recently heard about…
A window retailer had over $1,100 in co-op funds from one of the popular window brands they buy and sell. The Media Publisher had a new rep trying to sell the window retailer a large campaign (dollar-wise). The $1,100 certainly didn’t cover the cost of the whole campaign, so the sales rep felt it wasn’t worth it for them to mention it to the window retailer. This would have been the perfect opportunity to build that relationship with the retailer if they mentioned, ”I can help you get a percentage of the money back towards this ad campaign. I would be glad to help you.” I think the retailer would be happy to see you next time you walk in that door and may even ask you for advice on how to help more.
You may want to try utilizing co-op funding with your “seasoned” reps and let them be the “guide” for the new folks. The folks that already have your product line down pat may be looking for new ways to retain their customers, and co-op may just be the answer. The next time they visit their customer, they may be able to upsell them! Maybe they bought a print ad last time, and you can suggest adding a digital component using the co-op money. These would be great stories to share in weekly sales meetings!
Another thing to remember is the more expensive the item, the more co-op funding the retailers/dealers are earning. Obviously, automobiles are a big-ticket item, so dealers are earning a lot to spend. But so are tractors, tillers, forklifts, etc. – don’t forget all the agricultural needs in this country. Another expensive item is motorcycles. They are great “gas savers,” and a lot of them are sold this time of year. If you work with any motorcycle dealers, do not forget co-op. Products like BBQ grills, tanning lotions, and even tanning equipment offer co-op. Although they are not necessarily expensive items, if a retailer buys these products, they earn money. Again, it is NOT about covering the entire cost of the ad. It is about helping your customers/advertisers and building that relationship!
Below are just three brands (at varying price points) in the Co-Op Connect Platform. There are thousands more!
Brand – Product/Service – High-Level Guidelines
- Stellantis – Jeep – New Automobiles
Funds are earned monthly as dealers buy new vehicles and must be spent within 3 months of earning the funds. Reimbursement is 100%.
- Kawasaki – Motorsports – Motorcycles
Dealer earns 1% of prior year’s purchases as accrual fund. Mfr. will reimburse 60% for mfr. created ads and 50% for dealer-created ads.
- New Sunshine, LLC – Tanning lotions, Sunless Solutions, Wolff Tanning Bulbs
This applies to 5 brands (such as Australian Gold, California Tan, Swedish Beauty, etc.). The accrual fund earned on current year purchases is anywhere from 5 – 25% based on products purchased (tanning lotions, sunless products, bulbs, etc.). Reimbursement is 100% for digital products only. Traditional media is not eligible.
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