Many building material companies are worried that using a dealer locator on their website isn’t the smartest business decision.
That concern makes sense. The building materials industry is projected to grow to $1,283 billion by 2025, according to Research and Markets. In a rapidly-growing market like that, businesses will have to eke out every competitive edge possible. That means shoring up defenses and protecting valuable dealer relationships.
That context makes worries about dealer locators perfectly reasonable. After all, wouldn’t a locator expose valuable business assets — your dealer and retailer relationships — to your competitors? Wouldn’t it allow your brand to lose track of leads once they leave your website and talk to local dealers?
The answer to both questions is, “No!” Neither of these fears is true.
A high-quality dealer locator adds more security and business intelligence. By using it the right way, you’ll see increased dealer loyalty, higher website conversions, and stronger, more consistent lead generation. Rather than leaving your business open to attack, you’ll be building and reinforcing a moat.
Here, we’ll further explore the two misconceptions that building material manufacturers have about locators…and why those fears are unfounded when the right locator tech is used.
Concern #1 – “We’ll Give Dealers Up to the Competition!”
One of the biggest fears companies have about dealer locators is that it will expose their list of dealers and allow competitors to undercut their business by striking backroom deals. However, it’s oftentimes not that hard to find dealer networks regardless of whether or not there’s a dealer locator available.
We’ve also seen from experience that the harm from giving up your dealers doesn’t really play out. And if you weigh that against the harm of not having a good locator, plus the many benefits of having a good one, there’s no question that having one far outweighs the small risk.
The fact is you have little to worry about here. There are several reasons why:
A Great User Experience
As many as 88% of consumers consider the web user experience so important, they won’t return to sites that give them a bad experience.
Making your list of dealers public will benefit your customers by giving them a great experience. The right locator will make it easier for consumers to buy your products, because you’re helping them find the right local dealer through a responsive, easy-to-use portal on your site.
Having a locator generated by the Bullseye platform will drive sales and help your bottom line directly. Web visitors will come across your list of local dealers and contractors, select the ones nearest to them, and submit a quick inquiry.
Bullseye can handle it all in a snap, allowing you to seamlessly follow up with leads and guide them towards buying and using your products.
A poor user experience, on the other hand, can hurt your brand. It can drive people away, right into the arms of a competitor who makes the buying process easier. This happens in cases where it’s harder for the customer to meet their goal — such as with a non-existent or lacking locator page.
Build Stronger Relationships with Dealers
Another reason to have a locator is that it helps your dealers, which will, in turn, help you.
According to Forbes Contributor Jeff Bevis, good business-to-business relationships are built on identifying your partners’ challenges and creating opportunities for mutual success. It’s to your advantage to let your dealers know the benefits of being listed.
Through your locator page, you’ll give small businesses exposure they wouldn’t have otherwise. Your listings can be a major source of traffic for them, especially if their online marketing capabilities are limited or their budgets are stretched, as is the case for many retailers, dealers, and contractors.
They’ll appreciate the free advertising, and it will only build favor for your brand in their eyes. You’ll set yourself apart as a building material company that cares about its dealers, which goes a long way towards goodwill and loyalty.
In the end, you won’t have to worry about competitors mining your locator for dealers. The bond between you and your dealers will be too strong!
Furthermore, you’re naturally able to take credit for the leads you send to individual locations and dealers. This makes you a trusted partner to these locations, not simply just another brand whose products they sell.
With a Bullseye-powered locator, you’ll be able to prove ROI to these dealers by reporting on the exact number of sales you’ve sent them. They’ll be able to count on your locator as a stable source of revenue, which will only strengthen the relationship going forward.
Concern #2 – “We’ll Lose Track of Customers When They Find a Dealer!”
Building material manufacturers might also be nervous about losing track of their customers if they go all-in on a locator solution.
They might fear that once a person looks up a dealer or store, they’ll simply make a phone call or drive over to the location to complete the purchase…without the manufacturer ever knowing who they are or when the sale happened. Here again, however, is where the right locator solution shines.
According to Think with Google, 89% of successful businesses say that anticipating customer needs and offering assistance along the customer journey are crucial for growth. If you use Bullseye to build your locator page, you’ll have lead capture and lead routing capabilities that allow you to track every single customer inquiry.
As customers submit a request to dealers for more information, both you and the location they’ve selected receive their name and email address, enabling fast follow-up. This means you can hold dealers accountable and act when they’re not converting enough leads, either by training them in sales or removing them from your list.
Conversely, you can reward the highest-performing dealers by giving them a more prominent place in your locator and sending them more leads.
This knowledge enables you to set up a “preferred dealer” program, or create tiers of dealers for internal business uses. In each region or territory you serve, you’ll know which dealers you can route large numbers of leads to, and which ones you might put further down on the list.
Put simply, Bullseye will help you optimize your roster of dealers by allowing for better-informed sales decisions.
The Truth: Dealer Locators Are Powerful Lead Generation Tools for Building Material Companies
Hopefully by now, you see it’s not so scary to expose your list of dealers to the world.
It might appear that you’re opening up your list of business contacts to competitors, who might have no qualms about “stealing” from your business by forging hidden deals. You might also worry about losing visibility into the customer journey. As it turns out, these things are unlikely to happen when you use the right locator solution.
Bullseye guards against these types of issues by giving you premium capabilities for tracking sales, controlling the flow of leads, and building brand loyalty among your dealers and contractors. A Bullseye-powered locator also provides an amazing user experience for consumers. It’s a tool that never weakens your business, but only secures it.
Our digital strategy and product specialist Brian Baker shares a great anecdote about how GAF, the leading roofing material manufacturer, has benefited greatly from a premium locator solution:
“GAF was originally concerned about people knowing who their certified contractor network was.
“The concerns were overblown…the value of allowing the public to find these businesses and self-select the best one for their needs without a gate led to stratospherically-higher lead generation.”
That’s the power of a public-facing locator. Any building material manufacturer wanting to expand their reach, gain an edge on the competition, and reinforce dealer relationships should look into setting up the best locator solution possible.
If you want to see how Bullseye can help you achieve stronger business relationships, schedule a free assessment today of your existing dealer locator.