In most markets, electrical distribution is a highly competitive space with wholesalers in direct competition for counter sales and project business. A wide range of factors determine which distributors get the order among contractors, integrators and end users. One of the best ways to capture market share in a competitive arena like this is to offer more value than the “other guys”.
Here are 5 ideas to increase your level of value and make your distributor an easy choice for customers to pick you over your competition.
1. Have the right inventory in stock at the right time.
Take time to analyze the market. Examine which products are flying off the shelves as well as what’s not selling. Listen to your customers and have conversations about project timelines and what’s on the horizon for them. Use data to analyze buying habits, trends, and market demand to ensure that your inventory is stocked with products that move and your customers don’t have to wait around for special orders.
2. Providing accurate, timely quotes and pricing information.
Decreasing the response times for quotes can be a huge differentiator for your customers. Contractors and end users shouldn’t have a project held up because they’re waiting on a price. At DWC, we take this seriously by providing wire & cable quotes in about 6 minutes or less. Providing accurate pricing quickly so your customers can spend their time working instead of waiting is a key component to their (and your) success.
3. Delivering products to the job site or plant.
If it makes sense, having your logistics team drop off a local shipment can be a difference maker in ensuring that your company gets the order. It also opens-up the opportunity for an outside salesperson to eyeball a project and submit quotes on materials and products that may have been left off the initial order.
4. Sourcing hard to find products for customers.
Going the extra mile to help track-down a particular product or hard to find spec can go a long way toward solidifying the vendor/customer relationship. By spending a little time and effort to do this, your solving a problem for the customer and helping them stay on track at the job site. We do this at DWC and the positive feedback that we receive from distributors is well worth the extra work that we put into sourcing hard to find wire on their behalf.
5. Helping customers deal with emergencies.
When emergency situations arise and levels of desperation escalate, being the “problem-solver” that comes to the rescue makes a lasting positive impact on the vendor/customer relationship. Maintaining a 24-hour hotline, providing emergency deliveries, or a “Sunday morning will call service” at a premium can really bail a customer out of a jam. By doing this, you’ll be known as “that distributor that swooped in and saved the day”!
These are just some ways for electrical distributors to increase business by serving customers better. Evaluating your company’s value-added service offerings is a worthwhile exercise that can lead to increased orders and help grow your market share.
We’d love to learn about value-added services you provide that generate results and help your distribution center be a better partner to your customers. Contact us today and let us know!