We need to begin to think of our companies as the brand or product we sell. Every salesperson worth their weight, will tell you what they dream of selling is something no one else has or will get. This product must be something the customer wants and is willing to pay the right price to obtain. For years, we’ve heard manufacturers say — if they advertised their brands — that you should sell an established, advertised brand that customers are familiar with. If the manufacturer didn’t advertise, we were told brand names mean very little, because “most people don’t know the name of the equipment in their basement.”
The fact is neither advice was totally right, but the second statement comes closer to the way we have to sell in a mature market. In a mature market, the manufacturers still need to grow. The question is, how will they choose to grow? Consolidation? By buying their own dealers? Saturating the market with competing contractors or dealers? Selling through multiple wholesalers in a market? The answers to any of these questions should not concern the contractor if they have been selling their company and value-added services they offer. But the fact we still have dealers in the market establishes that our industry is selling in a mature market with an outdated marketing approach from the contractors' standpoint.