How do you form partnerships to launch a new service when your prospects are hesitant of your motives? My Business asks a business founder on his approach to these sensitive discussions.
Zed Klingenberg founded Tyroola, an online platform for selling car tyres.
Speaking to My Business, Zed explains that selling tyres online has not really been done in Australia previously, and there has been some hesitancy from the industry about his firm’s motives, and also the potential for success of his then start-up.
“I think one thing that we kept saying [was], ‘Look, we focus really on being a facilitator, so bringing all the supply together. We don't necessarily want to become another wholesaler or another big retailer’,” he says.
“Initially everyone was saying, ‘Yeah, but you're going to compete on this or that level’, and we're saying ‘No, no, this is what we're doing, this is what you're doing, and there is margin in the chain for everyone if we do it like this’.”
Tyroola works by allowing consumers to peruse tyre brands, sizes and types, make the purchase online and find a nearby fitter, where the tyres will be shipped and fitted at their convenience.
Zed explains that it fundamentally comes to building trust with these fitters and the tyre manufacturers to help facilitate the transaction, for the benefit of all parties.
“I think the most important thing is, actually it sounds maybe simple but it’s actually very important, is trust. It’s multiple meetings, showing them that you take the information they provide seriously, that they’re doing something new, but that you’re not in the market to harm [their] interests,” he says.
Part of this, says Zed, involved demonstrating Tyroola could deliver on its promises, and providing potentially sensitive customer and website traffic statistics to back up their claims.
“Showing them literally the figures of how many people are coming onto our sites searching around, even when we were dealing with only one supplier, is something that I think helped. I think that was actually probably one of the most significant ways I would say.”
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.