Selling more building materials through dealers is an important opportunity to take advantage of. Are you making the most of it?
Your dealers are a crucial part of your business. They are the ones who regularly interact with your end customers. By building the best-possible relationships with them, you’ll help your bottom-line profits and boost your brand locally.
On the other hand, neglecting to shore up dealer relationships will only give ground to competing building material manufacturers, and cause you to miss out on a key advantage for a larger brand presence.
The competition could even strike deals behind your back, which can be a long-term blow to your local business prospects. You don’t have to let that happen. Here are 4 powerful ways your building materials brand can sell more products through local dealers.
1. Offer Dealer Training and Education
Small local dealers are hungry to learn new business strategies. This is especially the case when learning new strategies, or simply becoming more informed about the products they sell, which will help them move more product.
That means you can build dealer loyalty by offering sales training and education on your product lines. By giving dealers structured training and insights on your products’ use cases, you’re enabling them to sell more effectively.
With training, you’ll also make dealers more efficient at selling your products, as opposed to your competitors. The result is a key competitive advantage, along with goodwill, as your vendors realize more sales as a direct result of your help.
Start by putting together a step-by-step training program on:
- Your product’s features, benefits, and best uses
- The most typical needs of customers
- How to respond to customer inquiries about your products
- Answers to objections or concerns customers might have when deciding between brands
Training can help lay a strong foundation for dealer loyalty. As reps get more experience in explaining your products to customers, you’re also very likely to see a direct increase in sales.
2. Create Valuable Tools
To enhance your dealers’ ability to sell your products, furnish them with some of the modern tools for building product brands. Those include interactive web features such as product visualizers and cost estimators.
These tools are great for engaging customers and showing them the value of your products in contexts they can relate to. They also help lessen customer fears and remove obstacles to the sale.
Inside stores, sales reps (or customers themselves) can use kiosks or tablets that make these digital tools available — and help convince customers that your products are the right choice, then and there.
For just one example of the power these tools can have, check out the following product visualizer from Allura, maker of fiber cement siding and roofing. A user can upload a clear photo of their house, and then try different roofing styles and colors.
In just a matter of seconds, users can instantly see how different roofing options will look when applied to their homes. That instantly personalizes the product selection process. It also increases the likelihood that an interested lead, who’s in the store interacting with a dealer, will finalize their choice and make a purchase.
Another effective example of an interactive tool is the following cost estimator, provided by Fox Blocks, the maker of insulated concrete.
This cost calculator, and others like it, allows dealers and contractors to fill in lots of variables for customers in order to help them budget the exact amount needed for a project.
Product visualizers and cost estimators help dealers sell more effectively to customers whose minds are already engaged in the purchase process — but may just have a few last questions before buying.
3. Use a Locator that Generates Leads for Dealers
To build strong relationships with your dealers and truly empower them to sell persuasively, use a dealer locator solution that actually sends them a steady stream of leads.
Bullseye is a premium solution for capturing the contact information of customers who visit your website. It is a great lead-generation engine for your own brand…and it’s the perfect vehicle for helping your dealers’ businesses.
Dealers will appreciate your help in acquiring and following up with interested leads. You’ll build a strong rapport with them as you send them foot traffic. You’ll also have leverage as you demonstrate ROI, which will encourage them to continue promoting your products.
As you personally hand off these leads to your dealers, you are also taking credit for your share of the partnership while holding each dealer accountable. Capturing lead conversions and sales can help you spot trends and areas of improvement. Perhaps you’ve sent 50 leads to a dealer, but they’ve only closed 2 sales. Meanwhile, other dealers in the area average a much higher close rate. Does this dealer need more sales training? Or are they selling your leads to a competitor’s product? With an advanced solution like Bullseye, you can lower this dealer’s priority in search results or remove them entirely.
This is powerful leverage for building local market share, solidifying your competitive edge, and expanding into new territories. Bullseye gives you the upper hand in strengthening profitable dealer relationships and forging new ones.
4. Communicate Regularly
The best relationships in life and business are built on strong, regular communication. As a building materials manufacturer, you can make yourself more “real” to your dealers simply by communicating with them more consistently.
That means showing them you care by sharing industry news, product development plans, new business directions, sales strategies, and other useful information with them on a regular basis.
In fact, it makes sense to have a portion of your corporate website, or an entirely separate “mini-site,” that’s solely dedicated to an open exchange with your dealers.
Beyond creating your typical article and blog content, you should consider sharing videos, email newsletters, webinars, and periodic in-person events.
By consistently reminding dealers of your presence by sharing key insights, you’ll build trust and, in subtle ways, influence dealers to represent your brand more prominently. They’ll remember you when customers come asking for solutions that your brand provides.
Sell More Products Through Dealers By Building Trust and Proving ROI
On a day-to-day basis, small local dealers are concerned with one major objective: making more sales. If you show an interest in helping your dealers achieve this goal, you’ll make yourself a trusted partner they’ll be willing to help out in return.
Interactive content and dealer training work (like cost estimators and product visualizers) gives your dealers material to use in direct interactions with customers.
However, don’t neglect the power of a premium locator solution like Bullseye in strengthening the bonds you’ve already developed with dealers.
Bullseye lets you directly funnel customers to brick-and-mortar locations, which will have a direct impact at the cash register. Dealers will be happy with the exposure that being listed by your locator provides, as well as the very-real results in terms of increased traffic.
All in all, you’ll be able to demonstrate ROI to your dealers and build productive relationships that last.
Ready to see why Bullseye is much better than any other platform in helping you sell more through dealers? Schedule a free assessment today of your current locator solution.