It’s that time of year again…Early Order and Reward Program overload! Distributors and manufacturers alike are already starting to deluge your inbox with these industry staples that are designed to lock in purchase commitments for next season by offering lower prices and extended payment terms. These programs have evolved into essential tools over the years to maximize your maintenance budget and ensure you have the products when you need them. There are multiple additional benefits as well for the savvy turf professional.
Early Order Programs
Early order programs are terrific for locking in reduced prices for high dollar chemicals and fertilizer products. Your commitment to the manufacturer allows them to better plan production schedules, which lowers the costs of the products through increased efficiencies. At its heart, this is the business justification for these programs existing.
At the same time, however, it’s also well known in the sales side of the industry that each golf facility has limited space and budget to work with. This translates into the time-tested adage of “the early bird gets the worm” sales philosophy of securing that valuable space for a particular manufacturers or distributor’s products. In short, if you fill that space and allocate your budget for Company A’s products, then there’s no room or money for Company B’s products. For a superintendent, this is extremely valuable leverage. Use that power wisely.
End User Reward Programs
There’s been a clear increase of end user reward programs that directly incentivize you for choosing Product A over Product B. There’s an easy reason why…because they work. In our industry we have a finite number of agronomic problems that need solutions, yet the choices to solve those problems seem to have an endless supply of potential answers. There are multiple fungicides that will control dollar spot and brown patch; and that’s not even accounting for all the generic equivalents also available. It can be a lot to evaluate.
The best reward programs are those that are from the manufacturers and distributors that you already trust and have confidence in. They are designed to help build stronger customer loyalty to their brands and illustrate appreciation for that loyalty. Often, these programs are administered through a shopping catalog for points that you’ve accrued or as some form of a gift card that can be sent to either an individual or your facility. The really good ones also allow for the reward to be administered as a distributor credit for use on future purchases. The latter also completely avoids any appearance of impropriety on your part.
“Double Coupon” Mentality
The real magic happens when you can use both programs together. Many distributors already have some sort of loyalty and early order program that can be stacked on top of a manufacturer’s program. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with exploited these to work in unison to stretch your limited budget to it’s fullest potential.
Here’s the trick, however…it may require you to do a little research and find out if your preferred manufacturer has a reward program that you can take advantage of. Distributor sales reps are very good at talking about their own programs but may not always be aware of all the manufacturer’s programs as well. It’s definitely worth taking a few minutes and Google your preferred manufacturer and “end user program” to see what comes up. It just may pay off big for you in 2022.
“Growing Together” Rewards Program for Superintendents and Turf Manager
I’m going to take a moment and shamelessly promote LebanonTurf’s brand new end user reward program that’s coming out in 2022, “Growing Together”. For all the reason I’ve already covered in this article, we felt it was time to join the party in offering a way to help our customers, especially while the current fertilizer market is so unpredictably volatile. I’d encourage everyone to take a moment and check out this program at www.lebanonturf.com/growing-together-rewards-program.