Editors Blog

I Think... Mechanical Contractors Deserve a Little TLC

August 21, 2008
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Every September The NEWS sponsors a very unique industry summit meeting called HVAC-MechanicalXchange. The event focuses entirely on a SMALL number of mechanical contractors. There are only 30 firms attending this year, but each average about 150 million in sales. So it’s a BIG in buying power.

Here is another unique aspect. We only invite the principals of the firms - the top dogs, the decision makers, and the check signers. Then we arrange for them to have private, one-on-one meetings with top executives of industry suppliers.

You would think that company presidents, division managers, and VP’s of sales and marketing from our industry would jump at a chance to talk long-term business strategy with guys that buy tens of millions of dollars in product every year … and many do. But what gets me is the number of top company execs that turn their back on the chance. Many say, “That’s our reps job” or “Were already doing a lot a business with those guys” or “They’re not our direct customer.”

It’s too bad because virtually all of the contractor principals are extremely interested in developing a strong, personal business relationship with their supplier counterparts. They don’t want to go around the sales reps…they just want a little TLC from the companies that make the products they install and service. Doesn’t that make good sense and good business. And if you have a key account wouldn’t you want to keep it that way? What am I missing here?

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