Part I was all about preparing and anticipating what the Category Manager (CM) needs before you even arrive in the room.
After thinking about the CM, consider what’s driving you.
- What are your initiatives today?
- What are your short-term and long-term goals? Short term goal may be to place an item, get ROI on your marketing spend, etc. Long-term goals may be around building the alliance with the CM, getting to know a division leader or laying the groundwork for a BHAG.
- Do your goals align with the CM’s? You will need to know the CM’s goals, right? Ask questions to get the answer. Craft your presentation to meet the CM’s needs. Your presentation shouldn’t be, “my company assigned me the goal of selling 5,000 of these in 6 months.” More like, “If we work together and use these seller friendly tools, you will sell 5,000 of these in 6 months, produce approximately $x,xxx in profit and increase your penetration in this category by Y%.”
- How will you add value for the distributor today? You have this built into your plan for the day. Opportunities may come in unexpected ways, too. Keep engaged & listen well for openings to be of service.
- Resolve accounting issues promptly. Unresolve issues take away from your positive image. Most sellers do not like to deal with these issues. Be different & take care of it!
Next, come into the meeting prepared. Part III is practical advice on leading the conversation.