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DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,490
Retired and loving it.


  • Bob Forand
    Bob Forand Member Posts: 305

    What is it that you like or dislike about wholesaler salesmen that visit you. What makes a good salesperson to you ? What irritates you about a salesperson ?
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    A couple of things...

    I expect a salesperson to be knowledgable about the product, it's application, it's issues. One rule of thumb is if the salesperson cannot give me the right info in the time it takes me to look it up on Google, then he/she is useless.

    Salespeople that feign knowledge or try to lay smoke screens are shown the door. I am busy enough as it is, I don't have time to separate the wheat from the chaff. I also expect salespeople to listen, to study body language, to understand the issues a customer is facing and to be able to resolve them in a timely manner.

    More than anything elese, I expect a open and honest relationship.
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981

    A good salesman knows his products...but a great salesman knows his and my business, and customers. He knows the quality that we expect and steers us to new products that will expound on and uphold both of our expectations.

    There is no horse droppings in our meetings and we both understand why. They will also keep us up to date on any changes, be they bad or good in their products.

    I know this sounds "Utopian", but the services of MOST of our salespeople since I've been working for my current employer, have done just this and kept us as a customer. Our main supplier understands our business and therfore won't make us wait while he takes a call. He will take a quick message and return the call AFTER he's done dealing with us. (NOTHING makes me madder than being at a supply house and having the server answer a phone call, and try to fill it while I'm waiting to place and pick up an order. I'm there NOW and deserve to be waited on there and now!!!!)

    The other biggest assett for a salesman is being able to get us an answer to any questions in a timely manner. If I'm waiting, my customer is waiting too and that doesn't make either of us happy.JMHO. Chris
  • keith
    keith Member Posts: 224
    not an order taker

    A salesman is a problem solver.
    A salesman is some one who aids you in the sales process.
    A salesman is some one who follows up in a timely fashion.
    A salesman is there when things aren't going so well.
    A salesman doesn't make excuses.
    A salesman respects your time.
    A salesman BRINGS some thing to the table.
    A salesman is someone who you develop trust with.
    A salesman understands that if I get the job then you get the job. Help me get the job and you get the order.

    Since I'm in sales as well I hope my customers feel this way about me.

  • John@Reliable_10
    John@Reliable_10 Member Posts: 99

    You’re being a little tuff aren’t you? If everything could be looked up on Goggle than I guess this site wouldn’t be needed, True? A good heating “supply house” salesman will know his product but will also know the customer and share what isn’t on paper anywhere. He will also help his customer with his/her business goals. I believe a good salesman will give you the right information if known or get it for you instead of BS. In this business of heating and air condition wholesale, a wholesale salesman may represent over 10,000 items! To master them all will take all of his/her time and leave little time to sell anything. I would agree with you if the salesman were only representing one product. After 15 years has a heating company owner and now a wholesale salesman for over 1 month my eyes have been opened to what makes a good salesman.John@Reliable
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Perhaps I am tough...

    ...but the reason this site exists is because the information is not readily available via Google. I didn't know you can rep. thousands of products, which would be above my head... The only rep I could remember that came close was a bearing rep, and that was but for one company (neat bearings though!)

    Furthermore, I agree that the information that is not on the spec. sheet can be far more valuable than the stuff the company owns up to... being focused on the customer is what it's all about, no matter what your business is.
  • Bill Nye_2
    Bill Nye_2 Member Posts: 538
    sales people

    Selling is an art, just like plumbing or heating. It is not mastered in a week or two. Like any other profession the ones that have a desire or passion for excellence are the ones who suceed.

    Product knowledge and integrity are important. A good salesman is one who I don't have to explain his product to.

    Follow through! If you tell me I will have something, get it. Don't jerk me around for two weeks waiting for a part you forgot to order and don't lie to me . If you forgot, you forgot. Tell me, don't bs me. I will have a lot more respect for honesty. We all make mistakes, we all forget sometimes. I know I do.

    Go the extra mile. I will remember that part you went out of your way to drop off on your way home. The next time your prices are higher than the other guy I will remember the service and buy from you anyway.

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  • Bob Forand
    Bob Forand Member Posts: 305

    John who are you selling for now ? What was your entire business name ?
  • Ragu
    Ragu Member Posts: 138
    An Example

    Took on a new service account, a restaurant that was re-opening for the season. Heating coil in air handler had burst over the winter. He needed heat to open for business. Oil company would only sell him an entire new air handler. My suppliers don't handle this particular brand, EVEN THOUGH they buy other products through the Rep for this brand, and would not help me. Called Rep for referrals. Called recommended supplier 200 miles away. Did a phone credit card purchase, he had a coil sent next day shipping from factory to me. All is well. Wrote a nice letter to helpful supplier, who din't even know me, but he UNDERSTOOD that I was a serious tradesperson with a commercial customer who was in trouble. I will show my appreciation by buying what I can from them. Too bad they are 200 miles away.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Rick Ganey

    from N&S Supply is the greatest rep I have ever come across.

    He tells me what products he reps and I do my research on those products. I decide which best fits my needs.

    He knows somethings but not all things and admits it when he does not know an answer.

    As for the technical side, it's my job to know it better since I am responsible for the daily operation of the things I sell and install.

    Mark H

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  • Supply House Rick
    Supply House Rick Member Posts: 1,404
    Thank you Mark

    I appreciate your kind words...
    N&S does things differently than other supply houses. Just ask our customers.

    Rick Ganey
    N & S Supply
  • Supply House Rick
    Supply House Rick Member Posts: 1,404

    I could be correct on this, You are a homeowner not a contractor. If this is true why would you opinion matter on this subject. The contractor will go under if he relies on the wholesaler to tell him how to do his job. I like Mark Hunt's perspective on this.

    My 2 cents
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Ummm... allow me to quibble.

    Tom, I may be a mere homeowner, but I also have a day job that consists (among other things) of dealing with contractors, salespeople, etc.

    For example, take the client that asked me to spec out a 300,000 ft2 manufacturing facility and choose the best vendors for all the capital equipment... Those are seven-figure, lengthy committments that the client was about to make, so due diligence was the order of the day. Vendors that blew smoke or didn't meet the specs we shown the door.

    Mark Hunts perspective is spot on. However, I also would like to be able to rely on a vendor salesperson to be upfront about the strengths and weaknesses of a product, regardless of whether I buy other things from them or not.
  • Supply House Rick
    Supply House Rick Member Posts: 1,404

    What were you allowed to spec.? Wallpaper, Paint, Janitorial Supplies? You seem to just like to comment on everything. Did you actually spec the Vendor? Did you interview all of the Salespeople from the suppliers and see which ones gave you the warm & fuzzy feelings? Doesn't this break down the bid process? Isn't it collusion, It's supposed to be based on lowest bidder? Please clarify your position, it's not warm and fuzzy...
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Are you taking this personally?

    Tom, why the animosity?

    To answer your question, the bidding process was quite transparent and based on multiple factors:
    • The client/consultant team developed minimum specs, rating categories, and weightings for each category.
    • We had the salespeople come in, present their products, prices, etc. the results were then tabulated in a weighted matrix.
    • The team then conferred and then we selected the vendors that made the most sense for the client.
    The cost of the equipment was not the only factor, otherwise we wouldn't have ended up with modern turret punches, forming machines, hydraulic stamping machines, etc. Given that each of these machines cost more than $1M, that we had to buy a whole bunch of them, that there was up to a 2-year lead time, and that the client wanted to get into production ASAP, this was a big decision to make early in the process of getting the products to market.

    As a consultant, I provide a client with a list of which machines/vendors make the most sense based on the specs and the weightings the team assigned to each category under scrutiny. The client then has the choice to follow or not to follow my recommendations. In this case, they did and they are very happy with the decision. What more can I want?

    Anyway, please tell me about the bidding process in your industry. Is it all about price, or are you allowed to take equipment capabilities, life-cycle costs, ease of use, etc. into account?
  • Mr.Bill
    Mr.Bill Member Posts: 10
    Salesmen (women) (people)

    What would you expect from your own sales people?
    I would suspect that the qualities of your own sales staff would be the ones you would look for in those calling on you.
  • John L
    John L Member Posts: 118

    We are all sales people of one sort or tudder, so with the great mix of people you get the good bad and ugly, and sometimes all in one day.
    This is a subject that can take you in all directions, however the fundamentals will always apply and serve a basis on which to judge.
    The starting off points for me will always be TRUST & HONESTY.If we dont have those then we are and we have nothing.That is what we want in people we deal with each day. As a biz owner you need those in your people so that you know whats happening in you co. Obviously product knowledge and a grasp of the needs of the home/biz owner are part of the package. There is BS in all walks of life, being able to recognise it and walk away are valuable traits.
    There are still people who care about their good name and their rep in the work place
  • Tom_35
    Tom_35 Member Posts: 265
    Owners need to have someone to rely on---

    like Constantin.

    How many building owners are left with "the cheapest bid" and they get just exactly what they bought. This is basically why our company does very little plan and spec work. The contractor goes in as close to cost as possible, then does everything he can to buy cheaper and poorer quality materials (that usually get past the architect or engineer's inspector), corners are cut, and the result is generally a poor job.

    We have looked forward to the owner who says they want a quality job and aren't looking for the lowest price so that can "get by." Based on the posts that I have seen from Constantin the last year or so, I would say that he has an incredible amount of knowledge and would be a huge asset to folks. On the other hand, if you are one of the bottom feeders who want to throw something in and not be responsible for it's efficient operation, he would be the guy you would least want to see.

    My opinion---keep sharing Constantin. I, for one, learn much from you on a weekly basis.

    Tom A
  • Tom, You are not allowed to \"quibble.\"

    The context of this thread allows us to understand and start thinking about how outside salesmen would better serve us as contractors. This is a very important discussion for those of us who have misunderstandings; from time-to time with our wholesalers. Perhaps these words would be better served in an editorial column of Supply House Times but, for now it's on the slate here on The Wall.

    MR. Tom Evans > (PE) .,,, You're WAY out of line here by suggesting Connie's opinion does not matter on this subject. Don't tempt us to get our good friend John Runkee on your a--- about posting acronyms after your name ;-) But seriously, you have no credentials here as you have only posted twice under this name as opposed to the more than 200 postings from our Brother Constantin.

    Constantin has brought to the table something very important upon each visitation he makes to The Wall. Like his postings or not, his views, albeit from an outsider standpoint of the hydronics and not a hands on tradesman, are nearly always "dead nuts" right on track. He has made the voyage to attend Wetstock and visited ISH NA. You will also find him very capable of telling you off on his very own terms. These are mine alone. He's also a very kind human being with feelings. Our country and world need more of his type.

    The best thing that comes from a thread like this is that I can send this along to my outside salesmen via e.mail so that they may better understand where we come from as contractors & sub contractors.

    The Wall (thanks to Dan) is a great equalizer.

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  • Carl PE
    Carl PE Member Posts: 203
    Donny Donuts

    ok, I'll put in my 2¢.

    We've got a supply house guy who comes to visit us once a week. He brings donuts.

    While he's here and everybody is distracted with the donuts, he'll go through every set of plans on the table and take off fixtures, equipment, pipe, fittings, grilles, etc. He actually reads the specs.

    The next day, all the project managers get quotes broken down by trade. There's a list of part numbers, quantities, lead times, and also a list of what he's not providing.

    IMO, this guy is a good salesman. He makes our job easier. We don't have to count fixtures or make copies of catalogs on submittal day. If he says the stuff is coming Monday, it'll be there. Sometimes we see him at the bar and he buys everybody a round.

    Did I mention the donuts?
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Thanks Tom and Gary

    I appreciate the kind words. As long as Dan is willing to have me around, I'll keep on posting from my outsiders point of view. Sometimes it's a lot easier being a mere homeowner. :-)
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,490
    As long as there's peace in the valley . . .

    Retired and loving it.
This discussion has been closed.