If you’re looking for a way to increase your product offering and profits without increasing overhead or significantly adding to your time investment, reseller accounts can prove the perfect solutions. Reseller accounts allow you to focus on your core offering yet sell additional products and services you don’t have the capability or desire to handle in-house. There are many different types of reseller accounts and nearly every industry has reseller opportunities; the following details how you can boost profits with reseller accounts.
List complementary products and services you do not currently offer
Start by compiling a list of complementary products and services you currently do not offer, including add-ons or “logical next steps.” For example, most graphic designers do not have printing presses in-house, but since printing is the logical next step for their customers a given designer might want to consider offering it through a reselling program.
Other ways to add to your list include competitor research – what do your competitors offer that you do not? – and simply asking your current customers what they wish you offered.
Once you have a list of potential products and services, weed out the ideas you don’t like or don’t want to offer to develop a short list. Keep in mind the best way to take advantage of reseller accounts is to give customers what they want, not necessarily what you want (there’s a reason you don’t currently offer a given product or service, after all, and it’s not always tied to capacity, capability, or investment).
Research reseller programs
Once you’ve completed your short list, research whether there are currently any reseller programs available in that niche. Keep in mind that a lot of resellers don’t invest a lot in advertising their programs, so don’t discount a potential provider just because their program isn’t evident. In addition, providers that do not currently have reseller programs may be willing to work out exclusive reseller deals with you, giving you an edge on competitors.
When you research reseller programs, make sure you answer the following questions:
- How does the reseller program work? What is the process?
- What are the terms? Can you get enough of a discount to sell the product or service at a competitive price and still make money?
- How much time and effort is required on your part?
- Who handles shipping, if required? Does the provider offer blind shipping (no branding) or shipping with your brand information?
- How long until products and goods are delivered?
- Does the provider offer any guarantees? What is the dispute process?
- Does the provider have a good reputation in the industry?
- How easy is it to get your account representative on the phone, and how easy are they to work with?
- Does the reseller also sell the same products and services you do? Will they attempt to add your customers to their mailing lists, or do they respect your relationship with your customers?
- Does the reseller charge any fees to enter the program? If so, what are those fees for, and are they justified? You’re selling for them; in most cases you should not have to pay to set up a reseller account.
- How does this program stack up against competing programs? Can you do better by working with someone else?
- Do they have a monthly or annual quota to remain on the program? Can you easily meet it?
- Ultimately, does the product or service look as though it was provided exclusively by your company?
- Is there room to offer your own sales discounts on occasion?
- Can you easily sell this product or service to enough customers to make it worth your while?
The answers to these questions will help you determine whether a given reseller program is a good move for your business. It’s also a good idea to complete a test order to see how the process works from your customers’ perspectives. If you can find a reseller program, or even a set of reseller programs, that complement your business and are great fits for your customers, you can boost profits on many sales.
Market your new products and services
Once you’ve set up a reseller account and familiarized yourself with your new product or service offering, it’s time to promote it. How you do this depends on how you interact with customers. You can offer your additional, “next logical step” services face-to-face, for example, or you can launch a direct-mail postcard marketing campaign that promotes your new offerings. Brochures, email, website, and social media marketing are also good ways to get the word out.
You can also offer new bundles that include your new products and services packaged with your flagship goods. Essentially, any marketing strategy that has historically worked for you should be employed with your new reseller-based offerings; how much emphasis you put on them is up to you.
Finding a good reseller program that makes sense for your business takes some homework, but if you’re diligent with your research and you find a great company with complementary products and services, you can boost profits from customers (and sales) you already have.