A number of building materials companies are in such a hurry to make a sale, that they will give it up for just about anyone. Have they reached bottom so the only choice they feel they have is to prostitute themselves. Have they no respect for their brand?
Here is an example of what I am talking about.
How committed do you think this dealer is to all these brands? I guarantee you he has one or two brands that he is married to. The ones he goes home to every night and spends the holidays with.
The other brands are just one of his girls on the side who gets an occasional romp. Don’t you feel cheap and abused? Isn’t it lonely when he doesn’t call?
I am a big believer in the manufacturer supporting their dealers and the channel to make them more successful. In exchange for this, I also expect more loyalty from the dealer.
This dealer can’t be committed to all these brands. This hurts both the dealer and the brands.
The dealer looks more like a warehouse of windows than an expert. The brands all look like they are same, just another window. I might as well buy the lowest price window.
Manufacturers, who respect their brands, need to be selective in who they partner with. Ideally you are with a dealer who carries fewer rather than more brands.
If you want to go after a dealer who carries other brands, it’s ok as long as you have a goal of becoming one of his preferred brands. It’s up to the manufacturer to make this happen by being more committed to the dealer’s success than his other brands.
Just like I recommend that manufacturers don’t sell to both Home Depot and Lowe’s. I feel manufacturers should also be selective about the dealers they partner with.
The brands pictured in this dealers window are all good window brands that make good products. This is a good multi-location dealer with impressive showrooms. He also runs a high quality tv ad campaign. The ads I saw featured Milgard which makes me assume they are the one he’s married to.
How Can Building Materials Manufacturers Choose the Right Dealer?
- Be Selective. I would rather be with a smaller dealer who is committed to my brand than to be an also ran at a larger dealer.
- More Dealers May Not Mean More Sales. Having fewer dealers that you can give extra support may gain you more sales.
- Expect Something in Return. It should be a privilege to carry your brand. You should expect a level of commitment from the dealer beyond your decal in his window.
- Take a Longer Term View. Salesmen love to make a sale, that’s their job. They’re usually not charged with the long term results of their efforts. Someone needs to be looking beyond just sell – sell – sell to see the longer term consequences.
- Respect Your Brand. Just like I started this post by comparing prostitutes lack of respect for themselves, brands need to maintain their self respect which means their value.
Yes I am known for occasionally pushing the boundaries of propriety to make my point. When I see things like this dealer’s window, I get very passionate about sharing my point of view. Sometimes, appropriate politically correct politeness just doesn’t get your attention.
Thanks for the following comments. I’d like to hear your feedback and suggestions on how to sell architects.
Strategic Accounts Manager
“One of your best articles yet!”
Western Territory Manager