Nearly every residential structure in the United States has a system that heats water. Plumbing supplies and water heaters are becoming increasingly competitive and the plumbing contractor has more choices than ever before on where to get his supplies. Your business will have to stand out from the crowd if you are going to thrive in this environment.
Let’s go over some key concepts that can help your business connect with customers and find success.
1. Keep an eye on consumer and market trends
Plumbing contractors are counting on you, as a supplier, to be the expert and know what they need to be successful and to make their customers happy. Your deep industry knowledge is a differentiator in a market that gives plumbers alternative choices. Your customers are experts in what they do but they may not have the industry-wide knowledge that you do, nor be on top of market trends — and filling that gap can help you win business.
Homeowners are becoming increasingly proactive when it comes to the systems and products in their homes — including plumbing. More and more, they are researching water heaters in order to replace them before they fail, and to be able to make an informed decision when replacement time comes. Your customers are becoming increasingly more informed and are asking tougher questions. Understanding these trends and where you fit in can help your business remain ahead of the curve. The knowledge that nearly 10 million water heaters are sold per year — and that half are gas and half are electric — is a good place to start.
2. Prioritize what your customers need
Of the almost 10 million water heaters sold each year, roughly 80% are replacements and the specific types of water heaters sold vary considerably across the country. You know what makes up the water heater installed base in your region, and you should plan your inventory accordingly. However, neglecting products that are trending in your area could drive your contractors — or homeowners to other sources. Tankless, high efficiency, electronic and wifi connected water heaters are all examples of trending products with potentially higher profit margins that you want to be sure to educate your contractors about and have available for them. This sort of planning can help you find success when distributing.
3. Identify areas for opportunity
One of the most important ways to win over customers is to find new ways to serve them. Some wholesalers do this by offering both plumbing and HVAC solutions. Many plumbing contractors are beginning to offer HVAC service and replacement. Get tips to grow your HVAC business.
What better way to increase your business’ value to your customer than to offer more of what they need? Offering multiple solutions provides simplicity and convenience for your customers. Water treatment and food waste disposer solutions are other examples.
Curious about how GE Appliances Air & Water Solutions products can serve your plumbing business? Get in touch with our experts.