Breath of Fresh Air
Identify Your Audience
Berkowitz said that there is one industry in particular that is underutilized by distributors selling outdoor items. "I think [distributors] should go after restaurants," she said. "Restaurants are now building outdoor areas, as are wineries and breweries." She added that when selling to events, such as a golf outing or company picnic, distributors should focus sales efforts on the facility at which the event is held. The facility, such as a country club or resort, could use promotional products as add-ons to incentivize guests to go there. "I think the actual resort could benefit from them too," she added. "[Distributors] never seem to go after the market where the actual event is held. I think that's an untapped resource they should be going after."
Know What You're Selling
Since many outdoor products—like folding chairs, tables or game sets—are large, Berkowitz said that distributors should know every detail about their products before they sell them. "Distributors need to understand what the components are," she said. "The weight of the products, they need to know about the durability or if there's a warranty on them. A lot of times distributors will want to buy tables and they need to get freight estimates because they need to take into account how much it will cost to ship it to the customer because we're not talking about a T-shirt or a pen."
Aside from the physical components of a product, Gallagher said that distributors should get some hands-on experience with their products so they know exactly how they function and can give potential customers a better idea of how end-users will respond. "Have a product that you're comfortable with that you've used before," she said.
Outdoor products are personal items. When a distributor can provide a firsthand account of the product, they can persuade potential customers to buy them as well.