TUSCALOOSA, AL — In order for distributors to have high-quality and long-lasting working relationships with their clients, they need top-level support-support that is found in the C-suite.
C-suite commitment helps improve the effectiveness of the distributor, helps the customer reach its cleaning and building operation goals, and makes client organizational changes smoother for all parties involved.
However, attaining this C-level support requires that distributors speak C-level lingo.
The first step in speaking the C-level language, according to David Frank, President of the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences, requires that distributors view their clients' needs from the C-level point of view.
"C-level people invariably see cleaning as a cost so they are going to want to know how much any [cleaning] project [or product] is going to cost and if it can save them money."
Frank suggests that key ways distributors can communicate with executives at the C-level and win their support include the following:
- Data: C-level people are driven by data and documentation; they make decisions based on hard facts.
- Presentation: Organize information and present it in a professional manner.
- Issues: Skip minor issues; instead, focus more on bigger business issues that are the primary concerns of the C-suite.
- Language: Use language that will communicate what is important to those in the C-suite. Let them know how a product or service will "increase revenue," "decrease operating costs," "improve customer satisfaction," "improve employee performance," or "improve [company] reputation."
Because data are central to C-level support, distributors may need to turn to technologies and Web-based analytical tools that can compare products and make product selections based on facts.
"These diagnostic tools and processes provide answers C-level people can relate to," says Michael Wilson, Marketing Manager for AFFLINK. "They have the ability to analyze vast quantities of information [and turn] it into useful insight, which is core to C-level lingo."
*The "Elevate Your Effectiveness Program" was developed by AFFLINKS eLev8(R) process to help facility maintenance distributors improve their sales effectiveness and better serve their customers.
AFFLINK (www.afflink.com) is the global leader in supply chain optimization, providing clients with innovative process and procurement solutions to drive efficiencies in today's leading businesses. The eLev8 system helps organizations uncover never-before-seen opportunities and quantify their value to enhance their overall image, promote a healthy workplace, decrease total costs, increase productivity, and satisfy Green and sustainability objectives.