Posted On: September 12, 2022
89% of HVAC dealers stick with the same supplier each year according to a HARDI study. How do you stack up? Where are those other 11% of dealers going and, more importantly, why?
If you had to guess, what would you put your money on for the cause(s) of this switch?
- A. Location
- B. Price
- C. Availability
- D. Quality
- E. Service
If you guessed C or D you’re right. 9% of people attributed the change to ‘supplier failure’ when it comes to availability, or persistent quality issues.
If we’re honest, we know equipment shortages have been painful for us, for you, and for your dealers. Its been a massive critical selling event (CSE) industry wide. Every ounce of pain your dealers felt was felt equally or greater by the competition – so how do we capitalize on that to retain the dealers we gained when we had equipment and they didn’t?
- Pick up the phone – customers appreciate candor and honesty. Have your TMs print out their customer list and each week call 10 or 20 customers, whatever is reasonable. Thank each one for their business and ask what you can do for them. People understand that supply chain is strained, they want customers want to know is what you are doing about it. Acknowledge that its been a tough year and let your dealers know what you have in stock. You cant guarantee you’ll have everything they need, but you can ensure you’ll handle it better than competitors.
- Show appreciation – hold customer appreciation events. Maybe it’s a Friday lunch catered in, maybe its dropping off some swag to a few customers each week. Send a small gift to all of your customers whose birthday is this month, or to the guy that’s been buying from you for 5 years.
- Capitalize on this CSE – your competitors are also going through this critical selling event. Identify dealers you would like to acquire and make a plan to approach and quote them for future jobs.
- Planning – Make time to plan and write down your company’s goals for 2023. Are you focused on retention? Converting parts only customers to equipment customers? Driving mix? By including the Allied team in these conversations, we can work together to recommend the best marketing programs and use of co-op funds to support your initiatives.
- High tide floats all boats – Allied’s success depends on your success. If you have a product in your warehouse that’s not moving like you expected or foot traffic is lower than normal, talk to our marketing team about sell thru programs.
Don’t be average. Lets create a plan to keep your retention percentage above 89%.