By Cass Jacoby, RCS Reporter.
Representatives do more than just try to sell manufacturers’ products to potential customers, they also aim to create long-term customer relationships. Critical to the job of the manufacturer representative is to take care of the customer and build long-term relationships. Thus, the manufacturer representative is an invaluable resource for the contractor as a high-level of support and is vital to the manufacturer-contractor relationships.
“The key factor many times is that relationship part, the extras. The extra mile, the extra yard, the extra things that we can do for you,” says MARCO‘s Randy Chaffee in Season 4, Episode 1 of Roofing Road Trips. “I think for contractors, the better relationship they have with the reps for the different manufacturers, especially ones that they use a lot, they're going to be able to make their decisions better.”
When contractors have a good relationship with their manufacturer’s representatives, they can get an inside look at what a distributor has in stock. Representatives know exactly what materials are available, which ones have been ordered and which ones will be in soon. They know what is happening in the industry and the cutting-edge solution to nearly all roofing woes. They are willing to share all of this information with the contractor.
Representatives usually work in one industry, but because they represent different manufacturers, they have access to different supplies that contractors need. “There's going to be something that you could probably use a little help with. So as a rep having multiple lines, I can find that niche right now,” Randy says.
Working with a manufacturer’s representative is also incredibly helpful for smaller manufacturing companies. Marianne Sumter from Wil-Mar for example, cited working with a manufacturer’s rep as a highlight of the changing industry in a Roofing Road Trip episode. “See, I have no salespeople, it's only me,” Marianne explains. “So he goes out selling the products that he represents, one of which is ours, and it's brought in a lot of business for us. I'm really pleased with that. I really am."
Marianne highlights that a manufacturer's representatives are the ones with the information on what's happening in the industry, the ones who also have a lot of solutions and an understanding of the tools you should be using.
Further, a manufacturer’s representative provides you with a wealth of information from training to backup information you might not have. “We really believe in training and we're committed to it and educating the customer,” says Delta Rep Group’s Wayne Heironimus in Season 3, Episode 38 of Roofing Road Trips. “You have the right products and they have the right support.”
Wayne goes on to add that “your local rep can help designers pick the right products, can provide product knowledge and to the applicator, or contractor, we can provide training, product information, and be the eyes on the job. We can interface between the project and the manufacturer,” he says. “There's a lot of things that reps bring value to.”
A manufacturer’s rep is all about providing that extra level of support to help your business shine. By building strong relationships with the manufacturer’s reps you set yourself, your crew and your company up for success.
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