Why do builders feel like building product manufacturers really don’t care about their business? Too many building product manufacturers come off like used car salesmen to builders. Or the builder feels like the ugly step child of the big boxes. Manufacturers will sell them a product that then suddenly becomes unavailable because a big box needs more of that product.
Because only a few manufacturers like Moen, Anderson Windows, Kohler, Kichler, Kwikset and Pfister know how to show a commitment to builders, there is a real opportunity for other manufacturers to stand out and be a preferred supplier in their category.
Here’s a quick and easy way to grow your builder sales.
There’s only one catch. It requires the commitment of senior management. They can’t shift with the wind as many company leaders do. Today the builder is important, tomorrow it’s the big boxes and then it’s lumber dealers or contractors. Builders can see right through this.
Here’s all you have to do be more successful with builders:
Draft a document that reads something like the following and present it to builders. This is based on numerous builder surveys I have conducted about builders’ opinions of manufacturers.
The (Your Company Name Here) Builder Commitment
We want your business as a builder. To better serve you, we are making the following commitments to you.
1. We commit to giving xx days advance notice of any price increase, availability issue or product change.
2. We commit to have representatives who are not only knowledgeable about our products, but also about the home building business.
3. We commit to empower our representatives to handle most of your problems quickly and accurately on their own with no need to get approval from headquarters.
4. We commit to send our reps on jobsites.
5. We commit to train our reps to listen to you before they try to sell you anything.
6. We commit to notify you and introduce you anytime we change the reps who will be working with you.
7. We commit our reps will contact you as often as you want in the way you want.
8. We commit to train your sales people about our products to help them sell more homes because you use our products.
7. We commit to do what we say.
9. We commit to make sure that our website only shows products that are available.
If you ever feel that we are not living up to our commitment, or if you just have a suggestion about how we can do a better job for you, please contact me directly.
Signed by your CEO, President or at least a Vice President
Their Cell Phone
That last part’s the tough one. Is your leadership really committed to builders? I mean all builders, not just the top ten.
You can tailor this to your own situation and level of commitment. This is just written based on what builders have said are important to them.