IPA strongly believes in the pro deal business as an increasingly important part of a brands sales and marketing strategy. But we also know the pitfalls that can come along with a poorly run program. Many programs in the industry, 3rd party and in-house, are getting out of control and are affecting the entire market. The lack of experienced professional care and understanding of the business concept can and will devalue a brand and will affect even the strongest retail partner.
It’s because of this we take this business and a brand’s reputation seriously. We are aggressive about finding new pro customers for our clients and in doing so we vet each and every individual applying thoroughly yet fairly, and communicate quickly and positively. We are strong advocates of effective communication and customer service for our program customers, as positive word of mouth is our, and your, greatest ally.
Pro Sales are about more than sales - although this can be a very significant sales channel for you - pro sales should be about the relationship with the targeted pro. It's always about the relationship. Your goal should be to turn prospects (any qualified pro not on the program) into Testers (new pros and first time buyers); testers into Trusters (people that are confident in the brand and look to it first before shopping elsewhere); and trusters into Cheerleaders - those that are head to toe in the product - Brand Loyalists, Brand Advocates, etc., - all the same thing. And you cannot do that without personal attention, working from your own website that is chock full of product information and working with people that are working for you directly.
Personally, I don't believe that today's 3rd party sites have your brand's best interests in mind. Generally, they are poorly designed with a general lack of brand/product information and bad functionality - I've tried them and bought from them and come away disgusted at the lack of attention to the service experience. Somewhat understandably, they are focusing on building their own brand and hope that in the process they get some business for you. But what happens when a pro is directed to their mega site to buy your product and then buys another brand? YOU lost out. Additionally, if there is an issue with the site experience, wouldn't you rather have the pro, who's influence and word of mouth you are trying to tap into, goes directly to your brands' in-house expertise to fix the issue?
IPA Connect works directly with brands and represents the brands as if we were employed and clocking in at the corporate HQ. We respond to all pro questions, application requests, whatever...in generally less than 24 hours - 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including Holidays.
We know Pro.