COVID Presents Challenges for Businesses
You probably have noticed that the cost of doing business was up due to COVID prevention in 2020, and we are almost one year later without an end in sight for these added costs. Changes in wages, material costs, fuel, and/or freight continue to inflate contractor quotes too. In the last week, some well-respected manufactures announced price increases to distributors that took effect on orders the next business day. Richards Building Supply sees the cost to serve continuing to rise in 2021. Demand for materials is certain to exceed supply availability in Roofing, Siding, Windows, and more FOR THE ENTIRE CALENDAR YEAR!
Tips for Success During COVID ‘New Norms’
- Homeowner contracts need language authorizing price changes on short notice.
- COMMUNICATION earns TRUST. Connect frequently with customers & confirm expectations.
- Website, printed marketing, samples, and contracts should have consistent messaging.
- Stay in constant communication with your supplier and sales reps for pricing announcements.
- Check material availability BEFORE heading into appointments to sell with confidence.
- Go in with a narrow range of products to increase the chances of a more timely installation.
- LESS IS MORE, offer fewer options, and you are likely to install more with avoiding the wait for the product.
- Qualify customer color flexibility by selling ‘Gray’ instead of a specific request for ‘Granite.’
- Remain FLEXIBLE and LISTEN; some customers are willing to ait for less popular items.
- Respect your business and time; homeowners are paying more for your trust each passing month.
- Homeowner demand FAR exceeds supply, hold FIRM on value and provide FAIR pricing.
- Send sold jobs to your distributor ASAP & review open orders frequently to re-confirm ETA.
- Be open about expected install dates and follow up regularly to keep the homeowner informed.
- Manufacturers can’t keep distribution informed of all shipments due to many variables beyond
- their control. Don’t fault them for this; it will surprise us but, CAN’T SURPRISE YOUR CLIENTS!
- ALL times are unpredictable, NOT just pandemics. The above tips will earn more celebrations!!!
Please reach out to your local Richards Building Supply Branch or your Sales Representative if you have additional questions. We understand service level efforts have increased due to the numerous challenges above, and we are honored to serve understanding customers who reward us as a partner.
Ronald M. Guzior