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Joe Tatulli Part 4
Approaching: The presentation is everything
One of the key things I learned as a marketing company executive, looking to help my clients sell more of their products, was that my clients would only let me help them convince their customers how good they were to the same degree to which they were convinced by my presentation to them. Bottom line: the presentation is everything. Glasser had proved this time and time again during his waterbed career.
"People judge you by how you look. When we do a presentation to a major futon retail account we give them a book," said Moody.
Glasser pulled out a couple of spiral bound folders and handed them to me. Each was a sample of a manual provided to futon store owners for in-store sales training. One was titled "Gold Bond Sales Management System," and the other said, "Mattress Warehouse Futon Sales Manual".
"We tailor each one of these presentations to deal with the specific issues relevant to the futon sales and the mix of products they have decided to carry in their futon stores," Glasser said.
One thing the Glasser Group does that is very different from most traditional rep groups is sales training and the collateral materials to back it up.
"I was a very successful retailer," Glasser said. "I understand what they deal with and struggle with every day. We are convinced that by equipping a futon retailer's sales force with the critical information they need to sell this particular kind of furniture, we are helping them to sell through more product. We also, thereby, help our vendors, retailers, and ourselves to a bigger piece of the pie."
"All our proposals and training materials are computerized," says Moody. "This allows us to tailor every manual, proposal, and management tool to the futon store owner. Everything has their name on it, and all the text is specific to each retailers program. It's a step-by-step plan from qualifying the customer right through to the close designed to maximize the sales potential of the product mix they have chosen to purchase from us."
"Looking at it from the other side of the coin," Glasser added, "We have been able to create a complete packaging and image marketing plan for Island (Futon) that manufacturers don't customarily generate on their own. We understand this market and we bring that knowledge and expertise to bear for our vendors and for our futon retailers," he said.
"Everybody makes out," said Moody. "When everyone pulls together, from the manufacturer, to the retailer, to the salesperson selling on the floor... It's then that the consumer gets the best value, with fewer problems to deal with and then everyone is happy."
"Right now we have ten full-time reps on the road," said Glasser. "We've built an organization that allows us to have a very powerful position in this market."
"The key to the thing is, with this many full-time people on the road, focused on the futon category... when there is a new product introduction we can be in front of the key (buying) decision makers within days," added Moody, "No one else can do that in this industry."
The partnership dynamic between Glasser and Moody is also another key to their success. Each man brings a different set of skills to the table, and their talents compliment each other.
"Dennis is able to put into writing the kind of real information... the analysis, that the newer, larger futon retailers need to make the decision to go into futon furniture," said Glasser. "I'm the talker. I'm able to verbally explain and articulate in a very clear conceptual way what it is we want to do."
"Stuart can focus a sales presentation better than anyone else. He paints the picture and the customer is enthralled. He makes an emotional connection," said Moody. "Then I come in with the hard numbers and the analysis and it's a one, two punch. We are highly tenacious, and we do it right," he said.
The Glasser Group, begun by Stuart and Linda Glasser, has been around for six years and has managed in that short time to put together a formula and a professional team of men and women with a passion for their mission. That mission is to provide a unique service to the home furnishings industry that incorporates the best in customer service, freight handling, marketing tools, and sales training all designed to enhance the overall experience and success of their vendors, their retailers, and ultimately the futon buyer.
I congratulate them on their success and wish the best as they move into the future.
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