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Featured Biz Question

In our business, my wife and I manufacture bird houses, bird feeders, and bird house planters. We cover a large area selling wholesale to flower shops, garden centers, and similar stores. We sell a substantial amount this way, but cover a lot of ground also. We have a web site up,, and wish this to take some of the pressure off. But we're still quite new to the Internet, so we are unsure how to motivate the marketing aspect of this mega-media. Any ideas would be sincerely appreciated.

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Here's Your Answer from Expert Jim Chesky of Marketing Communications

While there are a lot things on this menu for you, let's only talk wholesale this time around.

The first question you might ask is, "Can I replace all one-to-one selling with my website? The answer is, not likely. A website can automate some dealer sales calls and orders, and actually help you offer better customer service. However, you won't replace all of your one-to-one selling with a website. Not yet, anyway.

The sophisticated buyer who sees the value of your product will place orders, but plenty of potential buyers will need selling. Just showing them your product isn't enough. Go beyond show, and tell wholesalers about:

The benefits of carrying your product;

Who else is successful with it;

How best to display the product, how to price it, and how to sell it;

What kinds of product does best in flower shops, in garden stores, etc.; and

How your product will help them build repeat business.

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About the Expert

Jim Chesky
Owner of Jim Chesky & Associates
Jim works as a marketing consultant studying how companies communicate to help brew up the right advice for ailing marketing strategies. He also conducts seminars, likes working with small business, and enjoys public speaking. more

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