Sunday, July 26, 2009

Developing Vendor Relationships

A lot has been said about the value of developing vendor relationships. Suggestions about how to do this range from hugs and smiles to lunches and dinners, or drinks and bribes. Whatever works, right?

Here's what I am doing. I've mentioned this before on E.C. Come, E.C. Go as a marketing tool, and had at one time done so myself with some success. But it's time to do it again because folks, it WORKS!

I have been visiting area vendors, meeting the owners or managers face-to-face, and making them an offer they cannot refuse - producing a 3-to-5-minute introduction DVD of their products or services for a "free, take one" counter display at their business.

I will shoot, edit and produce the DVDs, distribute them to the participating vendors, and keep in touch with them regarding need for more, changes to content and visitor reception. Together we will discuss needs over time and take action to make this a compelling marketing tool with an extended shelf-life. Interest and curiosity by both regular and potential visiting customers and clients, as well as window shoppers will compel them to take one home.

My original thought was to be selective and get one of each wedding industry vendor to participate. Due to the response so far I have two programs in progress. I have signed up two florists, two bakeries specializing in wedding cakes, two photographers with studios, one DJ, two venues, one tux rental location and two bridal gown locations. These are located in different "zones" of my service area and it will be simple to develop a DVD for their demographic communities.

My first shoot is in two weeks for one of the florist shops. The rest are planning their content, discussing their ideas, e-mailing me with questions and concerns, and actually participating in some serious communication that is already expanding our relationships.

I will post a final report after one, or both, projects has been brought to completion, productions are packaged and on the counters at these businesses.

Yes, the DVDs ONLY feature ONE independent professional wedding and event video services provider - MY COMPANY!

Yes, I am doing this at no charge and delivering the first round of 50 DVDs to each participating business with printed graphics and using paper sleeves.

Yes, this has already developed into some interesting possibilities for other business with the services involved, as well as people they know who are looking for video production services.

Yes, it is work, and will take work and an ongoing commitment to keep it rolling. The effort can, does and will pay off in GREAT vendor relationships and contacts, referrals and other business possibilities.

Remember: If you market, you will make it! © 2009, Earl Chessher

4 comments:

Chris said...

Hey Earl
Stunning as always!!! One question I do have!!!
Let's say a dozen brides pick up the DVD from the florist. Does your DVD cover indicate that the 5 min show is about the florist's services or do you mention yourself. Also is your content intermixed with the florists or does the client watch the florists movie and then gets a clip directly after telling them all about you and wedding videography.

Correctly presented it will work great...are you using the little pocket sized 80mm disks????

Chris

CorElAnn said...

Hey Chris, thanks for reading, and asking relevant questions.
A dozen brides pick up the (regular-size, no pocket-size) DVD.
Each vendor has its own 3-5 minute segment (chapter) and the bride can view ALL, or at will. My plan is to do it alpha - F for florist, G for Gowns, T for Tux, V for videographer.
Each program will feature 1 each of as many vendors as I can get onboard.
I find there are too many potential problems regarding use of the pocket-size disks, plus they carry a premium making regular DVD blanks a bargain, and MORE visible.
I will write more after the first one is fully implemented, and offer a complete info packet with sample.
Earl

Chris said...

Hi Earl

Marketing brillance!! a field where I am sadly lacking!! So from the first 50 disks that are going to each vendor your result is purely promoting your busines to not only brides but the vendors themselves??? Are you planning to charge for new or modified ads that vendors request and will the vendor pay after 50 disks have been snapped up or do you consider that the referrals you get will be adequate reward for supplying more disks when they run out ?

CorElAnn said...

Stay with me Chris, neither of us may wind up brilliant, but we MIGHT shine a little :-)

"...your result is purely promoting your busines to not only brides but the vendors themselves?" ABSOLUTELY!

"Are you planning to charge for new or modified ads that vendors request?" Yes, that is my plan and what I've been up front with them about at the initial pitch.

"...and will the vendor pay after 50 disks have been snapped up or do you consider that the referrals you get will be adequate reward for supplying more disks when they run out?" Time will tell, but my initial approach is NO CHARGE for production or disk re-supplies so long as I'm getting referrals.

This process worked fine the previous time I tried it, and should work well now I hope.

As with web sites, demos DVDs and perfection this will always be a work-in-progress, subject to refinement and fine tuning as I go.