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Longevity is No Reason to Buy Your Products. Create a More Compelling Strategy.

By Jim Moody

Longevity is No Reason to Buy Your Products. Create a More Compelling Strategy.

Misura Group stands out as a premier recruiting and consulting firm, surpassing the conventional duties of executive recruiters and consultants. Our proficiency extends far beyond these customary roles, as we are dedicated specialists influencing the course of the building materials industry. At the heart of our mission lies the cultivation of significant connections and the facilitation of opportunities that drive substantial growth.

Strategy is often overlooked in our industry, yet it holds significant importance. It encompasses the plan devised to attain an overarching objective, usually spanning a considerable duration. It delineates the methodology behind actions, the means by which one distinguishes oneself from competitors, and the pathway to fulfilling a mission.

A dealer's strategy can often be discerned through its marketing approach. Frequently, when examining promotional materials from independent dealers, one encounters two prevailing messages: "Locally owned since 19XX" or "We deliver service." Frankly, both these messages lack effectiveness.

Research with builders (who, for the vast majority of you, are your key customers) tells us that they don’t give a flying fig about whether you are locally owned or not, and the length of time you’ve kept your doors open has zero impact on how you do business today. And as for “service,” what does that mean? Left by itself, it’s not a differentiator. Is there anyone whose marketing declares they have bad service? Of course not.

Your promotions should get to the heart of what customers think is important, and to do that you need to have a strategy. For example, consider that research from the Farnsworth Group finds the top two things builders look for from a dealer are on-time deliveries and correct orders. If that’s the case in your market, then your strategy should be to deliver the right products right on time—and then tell customers that’s what makes you special.

Measuring whether you’ve achieved such a strategy may require you to start measuring your on-time, in-full (OTIF) success rate. You may have to begin tracking returns. You almost certainly will have to ratchet up your sophistication to make this work.

When I first started in this industry, a wise man told me there were many dealers who were dead but don’t yet know it. If you are still doing business the same way your father or grandfather did, it’s time to breathe life into your company. Sit down with your leadership team, develop a strategy, and write a plan to execute that strategy. Then, once you are seeing operation results, you can roll out a new marketing campaign that capitalizes on your operational excellence. That’s how independent dealers can carve out a long-lasting niche in a world that’s consolidating around them.

Evolve Strategically, Jim Moody

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