In my last column we discussed what I think are some of the reasons we currently have a problem selling in our industry. We have evolved into a "hope 'n' quote" selling mentality where price is not just an objection or a common question - it is the reason we lose jobs. We complain about our shrinking bottom lines, but the fact is we give away our profits when we sell, not when we buy. This is true for all segments of our industry. My idea is to start with the contractors and make them profitable and the rest will follow.
In the mid-1970s and 80s, the manufacturers who were selling direct to the contractors or owned their own "Comfort Corps" decided that they couldn't make the profits they needed so they reentered the two-step distribution pipeline and sold their products through wholesalers or distributors. In fact, many manufacturers who today sell through an independent distributor sold directly to their dealers from the 1950s to 1980s.