Traditional Marketing of Bicycles vs. Network Selling (i.e. selling to bike shops vs. TheTupperware method)

Our experience was in the field of selling and in particular selling bicycles. In our stint with Biruni, we sold primarily through two means. 1. direct contact sales, feet on the ground  in the field. 2. Telephone sales. Both approaches were aggressively pursued by us. My associate in New York City had many prominent contacts there and had gotten many closes for the products which we were told were available for sale. In addition we both were on the telephone together 10-14 hours a day calling bicycle shops from shore to shore.

We were under the impression we were independent contractors, selling a product from a company to individuals and retailers and promoting the company to many people. This seems not however to have been the case. The company viewed us as profilers. Actually had they paid us for our data, there would have been a map of the territory. But alas paying was not a feature of management’s style. Nontheless we are credited in the executive summary below under the subsection MARKET POTENTIAL with researching market potential for the company. We were under the impression that we were contracted for selling bicycles and tricycles. We didn’t know that  we were not selling product but were actually doing via surreptitious guise the much pricier to come by Market Research. It was expected by management that we were doing it for free.

From the Biruni Executive Summary:

MARKET POTENTIAL – Pre-selling by our sales interest in Biruni  products in the following sectors:
-BICYCLE DEALERSHIPS/BIKE RENTAL SHOPS
-THEME PARKS/NATIONAL PARKS
-DROP SHIPPERS/ONLINE AND CATALOG SALE

image

file:///C:/Users/RALPH/Downloads/Biruni%20Motobikes%20Executive%20Summary%20(3).pdf

Our bill for the Market Research is in the mail.

One thing of note, the company seems to have a propensity for “selling out of the tent” as opposed to reps selling directly to bike shop owners to place the product on their showroom floors. The Dealer paperwork reads like War and Peace and was so impossible that no bike shop owner would sign it much less read it. With bicycle shops, to get a bike on the floor of the shop is a big win. The dealer must risk having some product sit on his floor and not sell and they do not commit to selling high minimums simply because some product is the creation of genius. The bicycle industry is a very competitive business environment.

Nevertheless, the best and only way to grow sales, revenues, earnings for the company is through sales in bike shops. Sales through a Tupperware model is doomed to failure.

Bicycle sales is a business which requires building trustworthy professional service relationships. This is the time honored method and there are many bicycle shops in this country that want to do reputable business. The telephone is the best manner for identifying and profiling the rich veins for business. We have done all of that and this information belongs to us.

Still to this day we are known for our presence and perserverence as a team in bicycle shops everywhere across the nation.

In the numerous communications with us Biruni management seemed to know that no product would materialize even though it was promised. When products did not materialize as promised, they were constantly replaced  by new nonexistent products in a sort of bait-and-switch.

The current selling method of the company does not pay its bills.This gives emphasis to the need for a new CEO of the company.Though the current CEO is an artist and creator, he is not a manager. He does not take his obligations seriously. I give as an example my corporate attorney at GlobalEcoVillage Inc. We loaned them our corporate attorney to do an underwriting for AEMC. The same deal existed for them as had existed for us, the attorney would organize the underwriting, create the prospectus, then get paid the first $25,000. Current managements idea was to just stiff the attorney. We twice paid this said attorney his fees off the top in the manner suggested by him.This behavior by management hurt our reputation.

The attorney whom I visited on his ranch  commented to me he felt like he had been “Rode hard and put away wet.”

There needs to be a lively discussion among stakeholders of selling methodology. Also to be run successfully the company must have new management in place. Books, payroll and corporate organization need to be in place. Also advertising and marketing need to be in place.

Many people have participated in creating this company. Many people have also been alienated by this company. Management needs to be able to build healthy relationships that are fortuitous for the company.

images

All material in this blog is copyrighted.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s