With today's market uncertainty, and competition coming from all directions, what can dealers do to turbo-charge their installed sales efforts? ProSales talked to installed sales dealers around the country and came up with these tips to help increase your sales.
1-Leverage Existing Relationships
If your primary customers are home builders, work with them to determine what things you can provide and manage on their behalf to lessen their workload and perhaps even decrease their overall labor costs. Be sure to begin your efforts by first researching what your customers want and will gladly pay for, and what your organization can support by way of capital investments, labor, and supplying necessary materials.
One way to jump-start your installed sales program is to buy a small services company or contractor, or hire an individual who has done such duties, perhaps as a construction manager. Roper Lumber in Petersburg, Va., began offering installed sales after hiring Kevin Burke, a branch manager who had run his own construction business and also ran installed sales for Masco, all the while developing a reputation in the Virginia market.
Remember: it's easier to sell to customers than prospects.
2-Become Known as the Best in Your Market
Al Showerman, Roper's installed sales manager, competes in part by showcasing the company's expertise. For instance, the company, which sells windows and doors as well as insulation, educates its builders on energy conservation by pairing higher-end windows with insulation containing a lower R-factor. The resulting package meets or exceeds building codes while saving money in the long run.
Jason Bogert of Home Works in Lafayette, Ind., says the company's philosophy is to be the best at what it does, pass inspection, and have no call backs.
Expertise and quality take time to achieve, so start your installed efforts small. Offer one or two services at first, perfecting how to install those services' products while obtaining thorough product knowledge. Suppliers often can help in this regard. For instance, Guardian provides in-depth training on its insulation products.
No matter what services you offer, the goal should be to become the best at whatever you do, and ensure that your customers consider you the expert.