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5 Reasons Strong Dealer Relationships are Essential for Contractors

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While the world has gone more digital than ever before, there are many aspects of the landscape contracting industry that still depend upon meaningful business relationships. For the average landscape contractor, creating a strong relationship with a local dealer is crucial to maintaining job efficiency and a competitive advantage in their area. This relationship can also lead to referral generation as well as easier control over the details of each order. When this relationship exists between your business and a local supplier, it helps appeal to homeowners, as well as ensure preparedness when challenges arise. Let’s dive deeper into the importance of positive, strong dealer relationships for contractors.

1. Efficiency

When a solid relationship exists between contractors and dealers, the contractor can rest assured knowing that a trusted supplier is handling shipments delicately and efficiently. Five extra minutes to thoroughly inspect an order can be the difference between finishing a project on time and finishing late. In an industry like this one, a slight mistake on paper can lead to a huge setback on a project, which wastes money for everyone. Developing a strong relationship with your local supplier prevents mistakes of all sizes from hurting your business and your bottom line.

2. Competitive Advantage

Every now and then the perfect project comes along. In order to finalize the sale, however, you might just need a little pricing wiggle room from your supplier to get an edge over the competition. Without a long-standing relationship with a dealer in place, your company will not get the price point latitude it needs, and that perfect project will be lost. But if you have gone out of your way to build a solid relationship with your supplier, it is much more likely that your business can receive that necessary discount, pass it along to the customer and land the job.

3. Referrals

Most local suppliers generate business out of an outdoor showroom that homeowners stroll through, selecting materials for their walkways or patios along the way. Since dealers do not perform the installation of the products themselves, they often provide recommendations for contractors to install the project. With a thriving relationship between your company and the dealer, those leads will sometimes go to your inbox. The process is cyclical:

  • Step 1: Build a relationship with your supplier
  • Step 2: Dealer refers your business to homeowners
  • Step 3: Project is successfully completed
  • Step 4: Customers report great results to the supplier and other homeowners
  • Step 5: Return to Step 2 and repeat

Sacrificing loyalty to your dealer for a one-time 5% discount is not worth jeopardizing this entire cycle of success.

4. Control

“Building a positive relationship with your dealer” should not be confused with “doing everything you can to make your dealer happy, including sweeping problems under the rug.” One of the many benefits of developing a strong relationship with a supplier is the trust and honesty that is established between both businesses. With that trust in place, it gives contractors the ability to address any and all concerns to ensure the absolute best service is provided. If a good relationship is already developed, expressing concerns will not result in losing the dealer.

5. Local

Working closely with a local supplier has numerous benefits for contractors. A recent study showed that 68% of consumers prefer to buy locally-sourced products whenever possible. Working with a local dealer showcases your business’ commitment to bettering the local economy and community.

Not only does working with a local supplier help connect with homeowners, but it also helps maintain a beneficial relationship with the dealer. Face-to-face interactions are much more easily attainable, ensuring that no communication is “lost in translation.”

The greatest test of a contractor’s preparedness is being able to persevere when a challenge arises or a project needs to be changed. If that contractor has a close relationship with their local supplier, they will be ready. Dealers tend to react faster and provide services quicker for regular, loyal customers meaning you will be more likely to get that last minute delivery of the product you’re short on.

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