Bestop applies innovation and a listening ear to ensure that distributors and jobbers alike have the tools needed to share the Bestop story and ultimately sell its products.
“Our partnerships throughout our distributions channels that are crucial to connecting our products to consumers,” said Bill Gibson, Bestop vice president of sales. “If our partners succeed, then we succeed. Our focus is in creating win-win opportunities.”
Bestop supports shops and business partners in various ways that reflect today’s shifting retail environment. Here are some examples of some of those efforts:
- IN-STORE SUPPORT
Today’s shop employees are busier than ever. As much as they try to help customers out on the floor, they are not always available to answer questions in the aisles. It is important to have silent salespeople-the buzz phrase for educational signage and materials.
“This year, Bestop is offering more point-of-purchase (POP) options than ever, including 2-by-4-foot signs that can be customized with 19 product placards, swatch booklets of Bestop’s soft top fabrics and windows, and seasonal POP kit shipments, among other sales tools,” said Garett Graubins, Bestop marketing director.
- ONLINE ASSETS & DATA
More and more, consumers are researching products and potential purchases on their phones and on home computers-even before they visit brick-and-mortar stores (or even while they are in stores). The winner in this hyper-competitive sales environment is often the shops with the best, most helpful information, and the best presentation.
Bestop has committed to delivering a long list of assets-including product overviews, text, sell sheets, photography, videos and graphics-for its best-selling products.
Bestop has also committed to ensuring its product data is accurate and easy to locate, listing it on SEMA Data Co-op (SDC), DCi and ASAP Network.
Bestop recently received an A+ Data Rating from The AAM Group and qualified for Platinum Status on SDC.
- EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
Ultimately, the more comfortable a salesperson is with a product, the more effective they will be at explaining it to a consumer. Brands have been pushing to educate sales staff as much as possible on new products and technologies.
Bestop complements its traditional, face-to-face clinic approach (Bestop delivered product clinics to nearly 4,000 sales and customer service personnel in 2017 alone) with an online portal that makes it easier for sales staff to learn on their own schedule. The new program-called Bestop University-rolled out this spring.
“Our goal initially is to be as informative as possible while being respectful of everybody’s time,” Graubins said. “Already, response has been very strong and we’re expanding our plans for Bestop University to include an entire library of learning units.”
Bestop’s launch of the portal focused on its hot new soft top, the Trektop NX Glide.
“We had more than 300 jobbers and customer service staff hop online and learn the ins and outs of that top.”
- CREATING CONSUMER PULL-THROUGH
“Along with our other support efforts, one of the best ways that we can serve our business partners is to create demand for our products,” Gibson said. “And that’s an integrated team effort.”
Along with Bestop’s sales support efforts, the company’s sales and marketing teams work to make consumers aware of the brand and products. This effort includes attending consumer events (more than 75 in 2018), advertising in both traditional media and online, and interacting with consumers on social media, to name a few tactics.
“A win is when a consumer goes into a shop and asks for Bestop by name, or types Bestop in the search bar on the store’s website,” Gibson added.
- TWO-WAY DIALOGUE
“We’re continuously talking with jobbers,” Gibson said. “We want to hear their comments, good or bad.”
Those conversations, Gibson explained, have resulted in some of the best product and marketing ideas, and keeps the company on a track of continuous improvement.
The key is to keep the lines of communication open through personal meetings. For example, Bestop recently hosted local jobbers and distributor partners at its Colorado headquarters for a JL Summit that previewed upcoming products for the new Jeep Wrangler JL from Bestop Premium Accessory Group brands Bestop, Baja Designs, Tuffy Security Products, PRP Seats, Status Racing, and SpeedStrap. The company also shares news and collects feedback on its private Bestop Jobber Facebook page.
“A true partnership only happens when it’s a win-win relationship,” Gibson concluded. “We believe that our level of support, plus innovative products, and commitment to our partners, puts everyone in a winning position.”