International Door & Operator Industry

NOV-DEC 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 30 of 110

V O L U M E 5 1 I S S U E 6 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 28 SALES&MARKETING treat and keep an account happy. Those who have succeeded in making a solid relationship will not be easily bumped, even with a better price. A better deal may include lower pricing, but you should include your product advantages. Faster production times, quicker delivery options, and push your great customer support. If you don't have great customer support, then this is something you have to develop. Dealers expect your immediate attention on any of their concerns, so customer support is the biggest step in growing your business. Customer Support is mandatory– not optional! Unfortunately, bad news is only a phone call away. A new account may call you to tell you they decided to stay with their other provider because they got lower pricing. I would ask, " Only after finding a better deal with you, their previous supplier finally thought they were now worthy of better pricing. If my first supplier did this to me, I would want the lower pricing to be retro-active back to my first order and demand a credit. Obviously, the other manufacturer didn't think they were worthy of lower pricing while they were being successfully gouged. Don't knee-jerk react and jump in with lower pricing. Your company has to profit, or there is no reason to sell. Besides, you may start a price war with a competitor that has better profit margins and could stay in a price war longer than your company may want to. You might win back an account with lower pricing, but did you really win if you don't profit? The answer is a resounding NO! When I had an issue with a cheaper competitor and I brought it up to my boss, Robert Schram, he would say, "Roy, let someone else not make money!" It's good advice. Today I understand that more than ever. I'm not a greedy capitalist, but understand today's reality—you have to profit or risk going out of business. You're in business to make money–or you're really not in business. No doubt our industry is like many other cut-throat industries, and it can be a hard industry which to sell. When you're in front of a suspect or prospect, you must promote your product advantages first, then haggle with pricing. When visiting a potential client, the dress code is somewhat optional. Business casual is the norm, but don't overdress or underdress for a sales meeting. The most popular wardrobe for a business meeting is a black or khaki pair of dress pants, and a colored golf shirt with your company logo on it. There is no need to wear a suit. I know some dealers who will run and lock the front door when they see a suit walk from a car. Underdressing would be wearing a sleeveless shirt, a bathing suit, and flip-flops. Laugh if you want, but I saw this in San Diego a few years back. Going back to your company headquarters with the great news of a new account is most gratifying and will definitely do your company good; providing everyone in your company is on board and gives you 110% support. A salesman's job is never truly over. Even after the success, you must continually be proactive and engaged through the entire order process-right to the end. In closing, I want to remind you to check your business card for accurate information like phone numbers, physical address, and email address. Make sure the company's physical address is correct, or it could delay getting paid on time if the check is diverted. This will create unnecessary friction between you, your company, and the new account. There will always be some sort of friction or headaches and the last thing you need is to generate more by being negligent or incompetent. If a problem does appear, you must meet with your team and jump on it immediately. If you don't, you may see your hard work go up in smoke. MAKE SURE YOUR INSTALLERS ARE IN THE LOOP so they are not surprised when new product is forced on them. I know of a few cases where installers sabotaged the new product because they had to learn something new. If you suspect this might happen, then have a tech or engineer join you at the first jobsite to answer any questions or concerns. A negative experience is a huge setback you must avoid! If this happens, you will need to make a dozen great positive experiences to negate the one negative. Continued from page 26 "A better deal may include lower pricing, but should also include your product advantages: Faster production times, quicker delivery options, great customer support... Dealers expect immediate attention on their concerns... customer support is the biggest step in growing your business." GO GET 'EM! If anyone would like to contact me with any questions, please do not hesitate: 480-799-4551 or r 28 International Door & Operator Industry™

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