If you have just one product in a distributor's catalog, there's a good chance the product isn't getting the attention you think it deserves. At $3.8-million Delta Technology Inter-national Inc., a software business in Eau Claire, Wis., CEO Jim Anthony supplements his dealer-distributor network with four of his own salespeople, who lay the groundwork for a sale and then turn over the closing and commissions to Anthony's local distributor.
"Selling these customers takes an average of two to four months, and distributors don't want to invest that amount of time in us," says Anthony. "But when our distributors make a little easy money thanks to the supplemental sales effort, it reminds them our product does sell, and then they sell more of it themselves."
One closing can pay for a salesperson's annual base salary, says Anthony. The bottom line? Delta's product ranked in the top 20 of an industry best-seller list for 1989, and Anthony is hiring another corporate sales-person.