Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit

New distributor

Jerry_15 Member Posts: 379
Start out with a 800 answering service (way cheap: real people picking up the phone immediately and typing the message directly to your pager.) Voice mail sucks; Press 1, press 2, return to menu. Never give out your cell #. That's why you have a 24/7 answering service, on an 800#
Do not depend on the switchboard at the company; it is never their fault. Establish an operating budget, in addition to your salary and commish. I've never done this before, but I've read about it in books. Good luck.


  • Dave Larsen_2
    Dave Larsen_2 Member Posts: 53
    new distributor

    Here's one to get everybody going! I've given up contracting radiant heating systems after 26 yrs,now I'm working for a distributor. If you were me, whats the first thing you would try to improve in the distribution world??
  • Guy_6
    Guy_6 Member Posts: 450

    What I picked up at HTP was the idea of training. I find it to be the ideal sales tool, as well as being beneficial to the contractors. Chuck and I used to joke about it as being a means to making our job easier- the more we could educate, the less our phones would ring, therefore the less we would have to do. That was not actually the case, as it led to the calls becoming more challenging-we only lost the simple ones. Another benefit is that you may get the questions BEFORE an incorrect installation move is made.
    Also, try to form an alliance with the MFG. reps. They will be happy to help you, as it benefits all around. You don't need to know everything, as long as you know those who do.
    In my position with Smith, I am trying to both educate my wholesalers and contractors, and instill in them the understanding that they are not out there alone- that both myself and Smith/Mestek are right there with them. It takes time, that's all.

    Hope that this helps.

  • Brad White_77
    Brad White_77 Member Posts: 10
    Aniken Skywalker....

    Take a new light saber with you, now that you crossed to the Dark Side ......
  • Dave_12
    Dave_12 Member Posts: 77
    If it were me

    If I just came from the contracting field to the distribution field, I would start out by observing and learning about the distributor, peers, customers, products,policies, and so on.

    Take some time before "slaying the dragon." There are surely many things that can be improved, and coming from the contracting field, you are in a position to be value added. But there may also be much that on reflection should not be changed.

    In summary, take some time before suggesting changes. You will me more effective and possibly more respected if you back off and ease into it thoughtfully.
  • Paul Rohrs_5
    Paul Rohrs_5 Member Posts: 134
    From a former wholesale distributor.

    1.The small orders are as important as the big orders. When they see that your attention to detail, the big orders will come.

    2. Return ALL phone calls. Pretty simple, but not always done.

    3. One job and one customer at a time. Give him all the attention he/she deserves.

    4. Net sheet with key items. Given only to customers who are not going to take it and start shopping. I have a spreadsheet from 1 wholesaler with 7-8 manufacturers and about 10-20 items from each manufacturer. I can complete 99% of all of my proposals with these numbers. (This does not leave my desk and it saves them from answering 20 phone calls a day on pricing)

    5. Let your customers know before annual price increases hit. Most manufacturers raise their prices annually. It is very easy to keep them posted with new pricing and updated "Net Sheets". This is excluding commodity pricing on copper and such. It is a good time to put product in their shops before prices increase. Imagine if you had loaded up on copper 6 months ago?

    6. 2% 10th, net 30. Encourage your customers to discount the 2% if they pay their bills on time. You are doing them a favor by helping them stay current. Ever had a wholesaler knock on your door to get an order AND collect a check for being past due? Doesn't make a lot of sense.

    I left the wholesale arena after 17 years. I love being on the other side of the counter. I am learning a ton about being a contractor too.

    Good luck,


    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    Customers *~/:)

    chirp up your new job to some of your buddies that are burning the mid night oil ,spend some quality time with them and explain some of the better aspects of the distributorship and consistently keep up with sharing new products and educational opportunities with them and ask them about the radiant systems that they are installing and see if maybe there might not he a thing or two that you can help them with without short circuiting their brain cell *~/:)

    the next thing would be see what the day to day sales are like and what items are rolling out the doors and then make a mental check against say what you would normally pick up a month and see if there are similarities or Whats Up with That ? sorta revelations.

    In that it is a year round business if you have any say over purchasing you might look into getting the things that sell, ahead of heating or cooling season, so that they are available then not later.. .....

    Good Luck.
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
    # 1 & # 2

    Those are the biggies to me.

    A couple of suppliers that viewed me as too small to bother with get the strangest expression when told my volume by a rep who knows :)

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
This discussion has been closed.