International Door & Operator Industry

SEP-OCT 2018

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 24 of 118

You can try emailing. Personally, I am a little old fashioned and prefer driving to dealers and cold calling. Forty years ago, you drove into a town and tore the yellow pages for garage door repairs from a phone-booth, then made local calls from your hotel room. Cellphones and computers killed this method – although you can still get contacts digitally. But looking up a dozen suspects, then positioning them on a map to plan your trip is time consuming. Plus, just appearing at a door dealer without their preauthorization may be unappreciated, although I have had some success with this method. If there is a sign on their door that says "NO Solicitors," you should respect it and move on. Send a letter by mail saying you dropped by their business, saw their sign and would like a meeting; then offer to take them to a working lunch. Let's say you secure Roy's Door Company as an account, who purchases $500,000 in product each year and pays on time. That is a great accomplishment for yourself and your company. Unfortunately, you cannot bask in the glory for long, because you have to expect another salesperson from a competing company will try to undo your hard work by offering lower pricing. You can lose a customer either by having pricing that is too high or from incompetence. Some companies can offer lower pricing, but are lacking in other areas such as quality or customer support. In my experience, flipping a door dealer to my camp will sometimes be short-lived because the guys you bumped will be unhappy and will attempt to get back the lost account by any means. You want to keep a close eye on all new and existing accounts by making weekly contact. FOLLOW UP! FOLLOW UP! FOLLOW UP! It's that easy- Don't be a stranger! Call and say hello, ask if there is anything you can do to help their company and ask if they are happy with your product and service. BE ENGAGED! GET FEEDBACK! AND ACT ON IT! I always research the door dealer before adding them to my suspect list. First, I look up IDA members in the region I want to target. Dealers who are IDA members typically represent our industries best and can be trusted. Second, I use to find the size of the company. Once you register, Manta provides the owner name, annual sales and number of employees. Third, I will find them on google maps in order to see there is a real building in place and it is not a home business or a dirt lot. If you do these things, you will not waste your time driving to a home business where only one person lives and has only one broken down service truck. I wish I did this years ago when I was attempting to find a service company in rural Wyoming. After driving on a dirt road for an hour, I reached a closed gate. There were no signs anywhere, so I let myself in to walk up to a farmhouse a hundred yards away. A few seconds later I was running for my life with a bull only inches from my butt! I made it to the house, only to find no one there. I had to dodge the bull one more time to leave. Later that night, when back at the hotel, I thought, "Never again. I'm too old for this crap!" So, I began researching the properties before visiting. SALES&MARKETING 22 International Door & Operator Industry™ Continued on page 24 Continued from page 20 "Don't forget your Call Reports. On the left, I included a Call Report form I made when I did a short run for Fraba in New Jersey. I do this every time I'm on a sales call. Yours will be customized to reflect your product line. You can easily lay out your Call Report with your favorite word processing program. Sit down with the contact and fill out the form with a pencil. Later when in your hotel room, type it out, email it to your boss or owner and save it in a Suspect folder. If you save it in the Cloud, you can access it almost anywhere. Print hard copies and have a real file at the office- just in case you leave your company, someone else can follow your work. Owners love Call Reports! It shows them you are actually doing your job."

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