How Can Manufacturers Stand Out to Contractors?
In the HVAC manufacturing industry, contractors have great influence over consumer choices. Contractors act as information brokers between the manufacturer and the end-consumer. Consumers may trust contractors’ advice and opinions because they have an ongoing relationship with them. For this reason, it’s very profitable for you, as an HVAC manufacturer, to cultivate relationships with contractors. Because contractors are constantly making product choices and researching industries, the best way to stand out to them is to offer them information at light speed, and perks for choosing your brand.
The Contractor’s Dilemma
HVAC contractors aren’t typically in the same place very long. Their “office” is out in the field. They may be on job sites for hours talking to consumers and overseeing installation. They may spend half their work day picking up parts or supplies. This is why mobiles and smartphones are a very popular communication tools with contractors (Arsenault, D. “5 Unique Things About Marketing to Contractors”). Push notifications, texts, e-mails, Web information, and apps with up-to-date product information are all easily within their reach. Often, they’re using this technology to make quick decisions about suppliers, manufacturers, and product specifications.
Contractors are often chameleons. Change and growth are inherent in their jobs. In any given industry, they must keep up with dozens of manufacturers’ product updates and consumer buying habits. Not only that, contractors often work in more than one industry. As economy trends change, different markets become profitable. Being able to switch gears and educate themselves quickly on new materials and industries is a highly valuable skill for contractors (Point to Point, Inc. “Marketing to Contractors”). They will gravitate toward industries and manufacturers that can offer something extra.
Many manufacturing industries have already discovered ways of making themselves more attractive with speedy, interactive digital communication. The paint industry boasts mobile apps that quick match paint shades, while the lumber industry provides conversion apps that make measuring calculations faster and easier (Point to Point, Inc. “Marketing to Contractors”). So what can you to do stand out to the millions of contractors who need to make swift decisions about the multitudes of brands they come across?
How Incentive Programs Distinguish You from the Rest
Online incentive programs for channel sales are an excellent way to not only keep contractors updated with vital product and brand information, but offer them perks for doing business with you, as well. Companies like Loyaltyworks offer online reward programs made specifically for channel sale rewards and marketing. You can invite contractors into points-based reward programs wherein they earn points for each of your units or parts that they sell (or for extending warranties, encouraging maintenance checks, and upgrading systems). They can redeem these points for rewards from an online catalog which features electronics, home goods, event tickets, travel opportunities, and more.
A rewards program is even more appealing to contractors when they can access the program through a Mobile App add-on. This way, they can input their sales claims, check their point balances, and track their progress from the field.
Contractors who are part of online sales channel rewards programs have greater access to the information and updates that help them market HVAC products. With online reward programs, you can instantly notify contractors (and anyone else involved in the sales channel reward program) about warranties, replacement and upgrade options, and recommended maintenance schedules. When contractors are informed and engaged with educational modules like Learn and Earn, which reward them for product and brand knowledge, they are more equipped and confident in selling your brand’s systems. Other modules, like Open Enrollment—which allows for open, global registration into the reward program—encourage new contractors to sign up all the time. When paired with helpful industry information from website, these features create perfect entry-points for contractors interested in partnering with you.
Contractors’ business partner decisions are at the mercy of their job’s quickly moving nature. Not only are they often on the move physically, but markets and industries change all the time. They need fast access to information and logical, obvious reasons to choose one brand’s products over another’s. By offering contractors participation in online reward programs, you can be the manufacturer who keeps them informed and offers them unique rewards for their partnership.
CEO of The ISI Group
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- Arsenault, David. 2014. “5 unique things about marketing to contractors.” Retrieved from http://www.randallreilly.com/2014/02/marketing-2/construction-industry/5-unique-things-about-marketing-to-contractors/
- Point to Point, Inc. 2010. “Marketing to contractors.” Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/PointtoPoint10/selling-to-contractors-white-paper
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