Recently, one of our clients explained that despite alerting his sales representative to a particular project where it was important to have the company’s product installed, the project was de-railed by the contractor to the competition. In short, the client’s product was specified, but when the bidding went through, the contractor substituted the competitive product. That is such a rare occurrence in theses economic times, isn’t it?
In discussing it with the representative, the representative advised our client to not approach the owner. The client was willing (because this was a personal project agenda item), to approach the owner and inquire why the substitution? The rep didn’t want to “rock the boat.”
Interline’s questions was, what boat? When we asked the client if that would anger the contractor, our client said, “he doesn’t use our products at all.” We advised our client to approach the owner with the inquiry.
Spiffs help prevent such situations. COLLOQUY® is the definitive organization on loyalty programs such as spiffs, and comprises a collection of resources devoted to the global loyalty marketing industry. The flagship resources are COLLOQUY®, a magazine serving the loyalty marketing industry since 1990 and Colloquy.com, the most comprehensive loyalty web site in the world. Interline was awarded first prize in the Builder/Contractor Loyalty program it ran for our client for 10 years. At that time (in 2002), such programs had not heavily penetrated the professional builder/contractor marketplace because building and contractor customers fall into three major groups, each with different needs: custom homebuilders, residential builders and commercial builders. Also in many cases, contactors actually work as sub-contractors and thus are only influencers in the purchasing decisions, or may be under contract to use a specific supplier. In these cases, deciding whom to reward becomes difficult. But the Interline program, called Value Alliance Club, was “in the contractor space, the program, which has awarded over 27 million travel points since its launch, is in a class by itself,” according to COLLOQUY (you can see the story where we are quoted at http://goo.gl/c7hcG; you will have to register to enter the website).
Since then, Interline continues to run multiple spiff programs for clients, including one for manufacturer that carries a 99.9% approval rating from the client’s customers! For more information about these programs, including a copy of our article in CONTRACTOR magazine on spiffs from March, 2010, go to http://intrln.com/contact and request a copy. Thank you!