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Your Distributor Offers Products, but do They Offer Support?

Danny Kerr Utilizing Distributors
August 26, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

RCS Influencer Danny Kerr says it’s less about the best price or material and more about how much a distributor is invested in your business. 

Editor’s note: The following transcript details Megan Ellsworth, RCS podcast producer, as she interviews Danny Kerr of Breakthrough Academy (BTA) about how contractors can utilize their distributors better. 

Megan Ellsworth: Hello, back again with an Influencer Response. This month is August, and the topic this month is, How Can Contractors Utilize Distributors Better? And, today, I'm talking with Danny Kerr from Breakthrough Academy. Hi. 

Danny Kerr: Hey, Megan. Yeah, thanks for having me. 

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, so how can contractors utilize their distributors to the best of their ability? 

Danny Kerr: Sure. Yeah, so I work a lot with GAF, and so I have kind of the one side opinion there, but I generally do see people compare products, they compare what's better for roofing material and all that stuff. And, I think all those things are very important if I'm honest, from my more layman's terms perspective, I do think as technology's advancing, a lot of the products are becoming almost similar. It's hard to compete on product these days. But, where I see a lot of the distributors even moving to is competing on support. How can we add more support for these contractors? And, I'm a part of some of the support programs that are going on. And, I think they're really cool, very interesting. There's a lot of technology they're innovating on. There's a lot of coaching programs and things like that, that they're innovating on. 

Danny Kerr: And, the conduit between those programs and the people out there roofing day-to-day is the sales rep. 

Megan Ellsworth: All right. 

Danny Kerr: And, the better relationship you have with your sales rep, the more they understand you, the more you understand them. The easier it'll be for them to basically be able to prescribe certain things to you that you may not know that are out there in the industry. Or, might even be owned or specifically being developed by your supplier or distributor themselves. 

Megan Ellsworth: Right. 

Danny Kerr: Yeah. I think you might say, "Okay. What's the best material? What's the best price I can get per square? Okay. Done deal. Let's move ahead." I arguably would say what's more important is, "Who's my sales rep? And how good are they at understanding me? And how much time are they willing to spend with me? And how much are they willing to invest in the business itself to help us move forward?" Because, they have their finger, and actually how much do they have their finger on the new innovations that are happening in this industry? Because I do, I see lots of different sales reps out there, and they're not all created equal, if we're fair, right? 

Megan Ellsworth: Precisely. 

Danny Kerr: Some are absolutely incredible, and some are struggling a little bit. So, I would say when you're looking at working with different distributors to take the time to understand who's supporting you on the ground and ultimately who can be that conduit to help you connect to bigger and better things. 

Danny Kerr: GAF has a lot of time, money, people, effort put towards innovation in the industry. Some of it's apparent, you can see it on their website. Some of it, you don't even know what's going on and you really have to know your sales rep well to be able to refer to get into some of these things. 

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. That is such a good point. And, that helps you stay on the pulse of the industry as well. 

Danny Kerr: Correct. Yeah. Totally, so. 

Megan Ellsworth: Love it. 

Danny Kerr: That'd be my number one thought. 

Megan Ellsworth: Great. Thanks for your thoughts today, Danny. And, I'll be chatting with you next month. 

Danny Kerr: Thanks, Megan. 

Megan Ellsworth: Bye. Okay. 

Danny Kerr: Supplier. 

Danny Kerr is the Director of Assessment of Breakthrough Academy. See his full bio here.


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