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WICHITA, Kansas - “In this economy you really gotta bust your butt. You can’t wait for the phone to ring,” said Rick Nunnelley, Reisz Company, Wichita, Kansas area.
Nunnelley, along with hundreds of other HVAC contractors in the Missouri-Kansas area, seems to have already figured out how to make their businesses get going when the going is tough. Perhaps it is the Midwestern work ethic that has sharpened their business senses, and perhaps it’s also the leadership and encouragement of their HVAC equipment manufacturing partners.
Dan Hagenhoff, regional manager for Goodman Sales and Distribution Inc. is based in St. Louis. From there, he and his staff coordinate sales, marketing, training, and technical support activities across a region consisting of Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, and western Kentucky.
During the winter months of January, February, and March, Hagenhoff typically hosts numerous local dealer meetings in the region. This year got off to a bang as regional staff and personnel from the Goodman Global Group Inc. corporate offices were on hand to introduce new Goodman and Amana brand products, sales support programs, and to generally meet, greet, retain, and recruit HVAC dealers.
[The NEWS tagged along with Hagenhoff at meetings in St. Louis, Wichita, and Kansas City.]
“It’s a great opportunity to get around to as many of our dealers as possible, learn what is going on in their markets, and find ways for all of us to address the business challenges that we face,” said Hagenhoff.
Hagenhoff was particularly proud to introduce a new technical service manager during the Kansas meetings which were held in Wichita and Kansas City during the first full week of February. Dale Arnett, a former contractor himself, will be providing support to the Kansas market as well as northwest Arkansas. To see and hear Dale Arnett talk about his conversion from contractor to a corporate Goodman-Amana employee, see the video at www.achrnews.com.
Goodman Global Group Inc. has an easy-going, yet extremely effective, approach regarding support programs that contractors seem to enjoy. Beverly Childress, director of dealer marketing, Goodman Sales and Distribution Inc., Fayetteville, Tenn., told contractors during dealer meetings in Wichita and Kansas City, “We’re never going to tell you that you have to put our brand name on your trucks or in your advertising, but it’s here when you want it.”
Then, she described an ample number of options available for customizable support materials such as sales literature, truck identification packages, television, and radio commercials. The Goodman brand advertising slogan, Thank Goodness for Goodman, will be on everyone’s mind if Childress has anything to say about it. All of the dealer services are available on Partner Link, an online resource for dealers representing the Goodman and Amana brands at www.goodman.com or www.amana-hac.com.
PRODUCTSDuring the St. Louis dealer meeting, Kelly Hearnsberger, director, product marketing, told the audience of nearly 100 contractors, “Our goal ever since Harold Goodman, a former contractor, founded the company, has been to provide HVAC dealers with the best-value combination of equipment, support and price.”
The strategy seems to have worked. Goodman Global Group Inc. is the second largest domestic manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning products for residential and commercial use based on unit sales. Today, the company has a North American distribution network with more than 950 total distribution points comprised of company-operated and independent distribution part- ners. “With the best-value positioning of the Goodman brand and the premium awareness of the Amana brand, we provide nearly total market coverage for dealers,” said Childress.
Rex Anderson, director of communications, rolled out the marketing programs during the St. Louis meeting. While discussing the importance of the Internet for homeowners, he said, “Left alone, the majority of homeowners will design the best system, at the best cost, for themselves. Where they need your help is in understanding what they have been reading in their Internet research, and how to apply that to the best solutions that you offer. Dealer websites must become sales tools as quickly as possible.”
On the subject of private-labeled product for dealers, Anderson noted that Goodman has had success with some contractors regarding that approach. However, he said, “It’s not for everybody. Some people don’t make the cut because they have to create the brand, and the selling proposition to support it. It is sometimes easier to let the manufacturer carry that creative and development process.”
Regarding selling up even in tentative market conditions, Don Sullivan, president, Goodman Sales and Distribution, Inc., Central Division, told St. Louis attendees, “Last year the federal tax credits helped homeowners to discover the benefits of high-efficiency HVAC products and systems. So this year, keep selling high efficiency. Keep selling the best products you can; it’s good for you, and it’s good for your customers.”
Hagenhoff told dealers at the close of all of his regional meetings, “Organizations are about people who work together. We are seeing momentum start to accelerate again, and we have all of you to thank for that success.”
Publication date: 04/11/2011