SELLING TO REMODELERS: Your Showroom is My Showroom
An Atlanta-area remodeler shares insights on why PMC Building Materials is his LBM dealer of choice.
BY: DALE CONTANT, MCR, UDCP
In the Atlanta area, the LBM dealer we work with used to be a larger company that had many locations, went bankrupt during the economic downturn and re-opened as PMC Building Materials. They’re primarily a full-service millwork provider that supplies windows, doors, framing materials and decking. If my clients need to see different materials, I have a place for them to go to look and touch.
What’s especially nice is their outdoor deck showroom, which is located outside, so my clients can go there and actually see how different materials react to rain or sun, as well as a variety of lighting options. The area is out in the open, so they can even go in the evening to see how the lighting makes the materials look.
If there was one change I could make at PMC, it would be to put the price ranges on the materials—especially in the decking area. Because it is outside, there’s not always a salesperson around, so an approximate price range would let my clients know the material cost variances. My clients aren’t always going to the showroom to get personal help and attention, per se, but to see the materials. It would work in my favor if, in any scenario when material was displayed, it had price ranges on it.
If that were the case, I could say to my client: “You’re going to see a price on there, but when I purchase it, I get contractor preferred pricing, which allows me to pass the savings on to you, saving you money.” That would help my sales process and build trust and goodwill with my client.
In another scenario, if a salesperson is helping the customer, I would be able to present to the salesperson that they’re working with a contractor who gets contractor preferred pricing, so the experience puts our company in a better light. The fact that I can get better pricing builds more appreciation and trust with my clients.
The other issue that pricing helps with is keeping my clients within the allowance I set in the contract. If I were sending them into the showroom to look at doors, it would help if they knew what’s in their price range.
I now work with an outside salesperson who comes to my office or comes out to my jobsite. I send over drawings, and he figures framing, door, trim packages and even provides in-house structural load calculations when purchasing engineered lumber.
He’ll pick up floor plans, do a takeoff for me and price it—and he’ll figure out the best way to engineer it architecturally at a good price point. He is FULLY in my camp, and he’s there for my business and is always very accessible. There is never a delivery charge for products delivered to the jobsite. PMC has positioned its company to serve the professional remodeler as well and has survived because of that shift to the burgeoning renovation industry.
My inside sales guy probably wonders why he doesn’t hear from me or see me as often, and that’s because of the tremendous job their outside sales department does.