Progressive contractors, I believe, are changing the way they are interacting with their manufacturers. When I ran across this research recently, it verified in my mind that it holds true. I only wish the Electrical and Plumbing markets would do similar research.
HVACRBusiness recently released a new research study, “HVACR Contractors: Trends in the Adoption of Products/Systems & Management Approaches,” (for a free copy of executive summary click here), that highlights new trends on their involvement with manufacturers. I did a podcast interview with Terry Tanker, the publisher, to talk about the results of the research.
Bottom line – 70% are more likely to evaluate additional manufacturers and their products. You can’t depend on your sales rep going to see them personally to introduce a new product. By the time they get there, the contractor may be well down the selection process. Contractors, no matter what kind, are looking for good information, not a sales pitch, but information that can help them do their jobs. If you can do that, it will help keep you in the game.
Here are some highlights.
They define a “High Yield” contractor as being more active in managing their business, having substantial revenues and experiencing significant growth. In other words, The “A” players in the field.
- 93% get involved in the early stages of the selection process of new products.
- Contractors have even greater expectations for products/systems than 5 years ago.
- Contractors are expecting manufacturers to do more to help them compete and operate efficiently.
- The selling environment has become more businesslike and competitive.
The bottom line is that these “High Yield” contractors have made significant changes in their relationships with their manufacturers and expect more out of them. Among them the top three changes are:
- Making manufacturers more accountable for their products/systems.
- Offering more support.
- Making more objective decisions about products/systems/brands.