July '18

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86 • RV PRO • July 2018 rv-pro.com A F T E R M A R K E T When it comes to dealers, Managing Partner Raymond Padgett says there are two main things his firm focuses on: training and helping dealers with store sets and product displays. If dealers don't understand why a product is important or how it can help consumers, Padgett says, they won't buy it. "We want to educate them on why the product is right for that particular dealer and why it's going to help them sell more stuff," he says. "If a dealer buys stuff from the distributor that we've recommended and it goes nowhere, then none of us ben- efitted and ultimately we're going to have to take it back." The other factor is that dealers need to know how a product works and how best to tell their customers. Having this knowledge makes it easy for them to sell a product. Padgett says his company markets products from its suppliers both infor- mally and formally. During the informal visit, his reps talk to technicians and after- market salespeople about the product. Afterward, company reps will arrange for more formal training. "We'll also do a 'lunch-n-learn' kind of thing where we'll bring in pizza or what- ever and sit down and have more formal class with the technicians," he explains. To p r o m o t e p o s i t i v e s a l e s o n a product, Padgett says he and his team work closely with suppliers to develop product signage and then work with dealers to display products. On the supplier side, Padgett says his firm works hard to attract the attention of suppliers – its direct clients. The key to a good supplier-manufacturers' rep firm is figuring out which suppliers are right for the firm and which suppliers ARC is right for, he adds. If the firm has suppliers that are new to the RV industry, he says, it picks and chooses targets appropriate for the sup- plier's product. "You've got to have a good relationship with whomever you're dealing with at the distribution level and at the dealer level," Padgett says. "We try to visit whomever needs our help or might be benefitted by the things we do. We really work hard on those relationships and try to maximize that … to reach our mutual goals." As a way to maximize product knowledge and availability among dealers and create business for the firm's suppliers, Padgett says his firm publishes a quarterly flyer and a merchandising catalog. The "Focus Flyer" contains information on products, educa- tional material and special deals for a spec- ified time. The catalog contains planogram information and signage-related products from all of ARC's suppliers. Members of the SM Osgood Co. pose for a team photo. The Minnesota-based rep firm serves both the marine and RV markets (both OEM and aftermarket).

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