Blog for Building Materials Manufacturers

How to Compete with Lowe’s and Home Depot

  |  Posted in Big Boxes, Dealer, Lumber

How to Compete with Lowe’s and Home Depot

Big boxes have impacted many building product dealers.  You can choose to take the ‘woe is me’ path or you can choose to thrive.  If you’d like to thrive, here’s how.

Be the exception to the rule in building materials

The rule is you have to compete on price, and with thier buying power, you can’t match big box prices and stay in business. 

Here’s how to be not only the exception, but to be exceptional.

Don’t look at your competitors. Instead, look at other types of businesses.  In many cities there is a business that everyone talks about that has broken the rules.  People love them.  There are lots of restaurants and bars like this.  There are also shoe or clothing stores, camera stores, book stores and more.

Now look at others in your business or a related business.  I live in Boulder, Colorado, where we have a huge hardware store called McGukin’s that is an experience.  They seem to have everything, and everywhere you turn, there is a friendly knowledgeable person in a green vest ready to help you.  They don’t worry about big boxes.

I have found that exceptional companies like McGukin’s all have one or more of the following traits.

1. They have a personality

2. They are an experience that is remembered and talked about

3. They have an expertise

4. They have a specialty

5.  They have outstanding service

6. They are helpful

7. They make you feel important

8. They remember your name and something about you

9. They take the focus off of price

And yes, a boring lumber or home improvement dealer can provide an exceptional  customer experience and be the kind of place that customers just love to do business with.

Get some help if you’re serious about becoming exceptional.  To do this right, you have to be open to changes that may not make sense to you.  Here are a couple of resources from two very exceptional firms that can help you become exceptional and make those big boxes irrelevant.

Zingtrain

Zappos Insights

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About The Author

I am the leading sales growth consultant in the building materials industry, I identify the blind spots that enable building materials companies to grow their sales and retain more customers.  As I am not an ad agency, my recommendations are focused on your sales growth and not my future income.

My mission is to help building materials companies be the preferred supplier of their customers and to turn those customers into their best salespeople. Contact me to discuss your situation.