Many years ago, suppliers, manufacturers and wholesale/distributors felt the fastest and easiest way to move product was to pull it through a market. Why? It’s simple: supply exceeded demand and producers needed to make sure their products were sold. The market was supplied by more than 100 brand names, all made by individual manufacturers. Today we have dozens of brand names produced and sold by just a few corporations. The change occurred in the supply chain but did not really change the way we sell at the consumer end of the pipeline.
Years ago, we had dealers who could send a price quote out to a buyer and call on the phone to see when they wanted it installed. The contractor often had a waiting list of prospects. This same contractor sold one or possibly two equipment brands, but the prime line was supposed to be a brand the consumer knew. This arrangement meant manufacturers had to spend big bucks to make their lines familiar to consumers. Because of this tie in, contractors became soft in their selling approach and leaned heavily on brand names. Consumers would often look in the yellow pages for a “Dealer” to install a brand name. Rather than lose a job, often a contractor would sell the customer their second line of equipment. When this began to happen, price became the big problem it is today.