Need advise with clients

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by farmtotable, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. farmtotable

    farmtotable
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    I'm the GM of a store and restaurant that sells locally grown, sustainable, and or low environmental impacting foods. We are still a new store and still looking for products to carry.

    I have a few clients that at one point seamed like they want us to carry there products, but in doing so we like to cut out the middle man. Most of the time this causes the producer to need about $3,500 a year in extra permits and insurance, but opens up more doors in the way they can sell and market there goods. I work with producers as needed to help them through the process.

    A run into producers that are interested, but after spending multiple hours helping them they do not follow through. Most of the time you can spot these people after working with them for about 20 minuets, but they end up wasting hours of my time.

    Is there a good way to weed theses people out without hurting peoples feelings?
     
  2. sigma

    sigma
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    Sorry to say you cant expect people are doing in your way within hours. I believed that you have good experience in your company, it is happen every place. What i will do is explain to them what is the benefit for them to follow my way and ask some feedback from them to improve the process together. After everyone agree with the process, then come out a formal procedure.
     
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  3. farmtotable

    farmtotable
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    You have a good point and will definitely gives me something to think about.
     
  4. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Did you mean "suppliers" rather than "clients" in the sentence above?
     
  5. Mark T

    Mark T
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    Showing them what they are doing themselves will make them realize it. Also, why not talk to them about your concern? For business sake you have to talk it to them and carry it out so they would know what you want to achieve. Also, why don't you both discuss your goals so as to know how will you both work on each other in maintaining a good business relation.
     
  6. farmtotable

    farmtotable
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    Fergal you have a great point and when I was a GM grocery chain than yes. But when your dealing right with farmers and producers it's a bit different. It would have been best to call them producers, but I like to look at everyone as a clients.


    From the start I like to set up a few meeting. This gives time for everyone to think and for me to do some research and lets the information sink in.

    One or three meetings talking about supply, demand, competitors, cost, pricing, efficiency of process, and packaging.
    One or two meetings on what Federal, state, and county laws or codes that can or will affect the product or products. Most of the time these will be with a lawyer, health department, and or an agricultural agent.
    A meeting talk about what changes would need to be made, profitability, needed permits, revisit packaging looking at setting up a few samples, and what the time line for getting everything put together.
    Get packaging sample with or without product.
    A meeting to exchange copy’s of tax documents, permits, and other information. Set up display and get first shipment of product.

    I try to keep a good line of communication open and don't mind if they set up meeting with there lawyers for me to go to. But it's the people that procrastinate on everything or need me to help them fill out and apply for permits.
     
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  7. sigma

    sigma
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    I totally agree. I was in manufacturing field before and i understand your problem because they will think that "hey friend, i'm farmer for more than XX year, i know much better than you, factory is not farm,....blablabla....". The fact is they can be right, they are more expert than you, just they dont do it in systematic way.

    The most important point is to tell them what is the benefit if they follow your way, if the benefit is attracting them, they will do it . It is hard if you want to make charging (or improvement) because many people prefer to stay at the "comfortable zone" (Just do it as they did before). It always need time and good communication to improve the status.

    Wish your next time will tell us the good news

    All the best
     
  8. farmtotable

    farmtotable
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    You hit the nail on the head...

    Wednesday and Thursday I sent out emails to 15 different producers. With the 10 questions I asked I think I found out one of the main issues that leads to the procrastinating. The producers that have never looked into direct selling don't know about the different laws and some of the issues that go with it. Each type of product falls into different code sections, so I’m always running into different issues that need to be worked out.

    Today I started thinking about making a brochure that brakes down some of the different laws and how they affect different types of products. If they could be pre educated to the basics as they were thinking about becoming a producer for us then it would not be as much of a shock. I hope I can get it put together over the weekend and get it out for lawyer review on Monday and get them ready to be printed by next Monday.
     
  9. sigma

    sigma
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    your plan is good as in documentation and as a future training material etc. However, i afraid the issue will re-occur because the "producer" didnt actually care about this issue. I suggest to take some other action such as issue out the NCR to them or held a brainstorming/quality meeting, then they will noticed that this issue is important. To avoid do more work (such as writing report, follow up and implement corrective action etc), they will propose some easy way to prevent or overcome the problem.

    Just a suggestion
     
  10. ilovedesign

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    You need to turn the tables and be able to convince them that you have exactly what they want and have something really great to offer. Make them want your time rather than waste it and project confidence that they are not the only suppliers out there and you won't have trouble finding others. Of course, you should be incredibly subtle with this and not come off as pompous. You should do just enough to make people realize themselves that they will only be wasting your time if they don't become more decisive. Of course you could simply pretend to get an important call when you get a feeling that the people you are talking to are "one of these people".
     
  11. drewkramer

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    I would also agree with others idea of talking to those people and make them realize what they are doing, replacing one would generally affect over all productivity especially if you can't find replacement from them. In business, thinking twice in making decision is not enough double it up!
     
  12. riteshnarula

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    You need to turn the tables and be able to convince them that you have exactly what they want and have something really great to offer.
     
  13. jcworlditsme

    jcworlditsme
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    The key to any situation like this is to sell yourself as much as possible, but without putting clients off.
     

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