Home Forums Starting your journey How can I approach local distributors?

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  • #999952
    Worthbp
    Member
    • Total posts: 3

    Dear all,

    Hoping you’re having a great holiday.

    I’m doing a building material import business, selling SPC flooring, PVC/PP pipes, windows/doors, cement and aluminium extrusions. As a new player to this market, what I could do for sales was cold call and cold emailing, introducing my products and giving our pricing. But there was little effect. The response was too few.

    So, I was wondering how I can approach the local distributors more effectively?

    Thank you all.

    #1222007
    Lisa Crocker
    Member
    • Total posts: 221

    Hi Worthbp,

    Thanks for being part of our community and posting your question.

    Hopefully some of our forum members will be able to share some tips.

    All the best with your business!
    Lisa

    #1222008
    Mischelle
    Member
    • Total posts: 805

    Hi and welcome to the forums. :)

    Firstly congratulations for starting out and giving it a crack.

    To help other posters on these boards give you more specific information, can you give a little more detail on the following:

    • Who are your customers? (You say local distributors, can you give some examples of who you are targeting, are you approaching bulk builders directly as well?)
    • Are your product high quality at high price, or normal quality at a lower price? (This will help you understand who to target)
    • Why should they buy off you rather than the people they already buy off? This is a key question, because if they already have a supply chain in place and they are happy with them, it’s harder to crack into, so know the answer :).
    • What is your sales plan? Are you converting a customer to your comparable product, or are your products better and you are trying to convince them to buy better more expensive products.
    • Are you products NCBP or NCP? If they are conforming and complying, which of the six different types of substantiation or evidence do you have for them to verify as per the NCC?

    See where I am going, all of these questions help build your case, and helps you with content and planning for your marketing :)

    Cold emailing is a total waste of your time, they can just delete it and even block your email, only email pre-qualified people who have opted in via your website etc, otherwise they will just treat it as spam.

    How much work have you put into your website
    ? This will be checked by anyone you contact and searchable on Google.

    Tenders – are you considering tendering directly, or just being a wholesaler? There are currently 312 open tenders for building products and materials on Australian Tenders (this is just an example of another option). Out of those tender there might be 1 or 2 suited to your products.

    Are you planning on attending any trade shows (IE Sydney Build in March?) You don’t have to be an exhibitor at this time, as that’s expensive. Maybe even a local one in your area. But it can help you build your network, but NOTE, this is very important – unless you are an exhibitor, do not try to sell your products, attend, talk to people, general trade chat only, attend a luncheon (well worth the money for lunch).

    How is your network? There are many groups on LinkedIn for Building Materials, how many are you a member of and do you contribute to their conversations? (EXAMPLE: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/109215/)

    There are some start points for you.

    Cheers
    Mischelle :)

    #1222009
    Worthbp
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
    Mischelle, post: 268196, member: 60404 wrote:
    Hi and welcome to the forums. :)

    Firstly congratulations for starting out and giving it a crack.

    To help other posters on these boards give you more specific information, can you give a little more detail on the following:

    • Who are your customers? (You say local distributors, can you give some examples of who you are targeting, are you approaching bulk builders directly as well?)
    • Are your product high quality at high price, or normal quality at a lower price? (This will help you understand who to target)
    • Why should they buy off you rather than the people they already buy off? This is a key question, because if they already have a supply chain in place and they are happy with them, it’s harder to crack into, so know the answer :).
    • What is your sales plan? Are you converting a customer to your comparable product, or are your products better and you are trying to convince them to buy better more expensive products.
    • Are you products NCBP or NCP? If they are conforming and complying, which of the six different types of substantiation or evidence do you have for them to verify as per the NCC?

    See where I am going, all of these questions help build your case, and helps you with content and planning for your marketing :)

    Cold emailing is a total waste of your time, they can just delete it and even block your email, only email pre-qualified people who have opted in via your website etc, otherwise they will just treat it as spam.

    How much work have you put into your website
    ? This will be checked by anyone you contact and searchable on Google.

    Tenders – are you considering tendering directly, or just being a wholesaler? There are currently 312 open tenders for building products and materials on Australian Tenders (this is just an example of another option). Out of those tender there might be 1 or 2 suited to your products.

    Are you planning on attending any trade shows (IE Sydney Build in March?) You don’t have to be an exhibitor at this time, as that’s expensive. Maybe even a local one in your area. But it can help you build your network, but NOTE, this is very important – unless you are an exhibitor, do not try to sell your products, attend, talk to people, general trade chat only, attend a luncheon (well worth the money for lunch).

    How is your network? There are many groups on LinkedIn for Building Materials, how many are you a member of and do you contribute to their conversations? (EXAMPLE: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/109215/)

    There are some start points for you.

    Cheers
    Mischelle :)

    Hi Mischelle,

    Thank you very much for your helpful reply.:) Please find more details of our business below.

    • Our target customers are the local wholesalers and retailers. We haven’t contacted bulk builders.
    • Our products are of normal quality at a low price.
    • We are currently acting as the agent of a Global-500 company in Australia, so our strength is the good quality at a competitive price.
    • We tend to convert customers to our products.
    • Some of our products need to conform to relevant standards, such as PVC pipes and cement. We can provide reports issued by registered testing authority.

    Thanks again for your advice. I am going to start with expanding my network first.

    Cheers,
    Rick

    #1222010
    MH08
    Member
    • Total posts: 284

    Are you located within Sydney? Aluminium extrusions, as in door frames, PVC piping? Heavy regulation on piping especially when dealt with civil works.

    The only issue if it is aluminium and steel door frames within Sydney you’ll be up against a monopoly called Vince & Buda, they probably supply every building supply yard including all of Bunnings nationally (from memory), and they acquire raw aluminium (and material) and have a foundry onsite to create it.

    Sydney has probably 7 what I’d call senior building wholesalers, coming from my in laws experience in the field that had one of the largest building supply business close to Bunnings was from the early 80’s till 01. This is framed on buying power. Bunnings market is the DIY’ers and cheap tools.

    Find them local Thrifty chains and see if they will take it up. Only issue is customer satisfaction on their end, because if for some reason it doesn’t pass code they’ll drop the product and ask to kindly pick it up.

    It’s an old industry, ring them up, tell them what you have and just put it on them that you’re going to come around with some product. Why that works, because I essentially did cold calling for a quarry selling Cowra white pebbles rough, and I used just to show up with a bucket, they’d rub it a few times and decide where to put it.

    Get an over sized map online, google every wholesaler and draw them on the map and knock them all off one by one.

    #1222011
    Worthbp
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
    MH08, post: 268222, member: 37395 wrote:
    Are you located within Sydney? Aluminium extrusions, as in door frames, PVC piping? Heavy regulation on piping especially when dealt with civil works.

    The only issue if it is aluminium and steel door frames within Sydney you’ll be up against a monopoly called Vince & Buda, they probably supply every building supply yard including all of Bunnings nationally (from memory), and they acquire raw aluminium (and material) and have a foundry onsite to create it.

    Sydney has probably 7 what I’d call senior building wholesalers, coming from my in laws experience in the field that had one of the largest building supply business close to Bunnings was from the early 80’s till 01. This is framed on buying power. Bunnings market is the DIY’ers and cheap tools.

    Find them local Thrifty chains and see if they will take it up. Only issue is customer satisfaction on their end, because if for some reason it doesn’t pass code they’ll drop the product and ask to kindly pick it up.

    It’s an old industry, ring them up, tell them what you have and just put it on them that you’re going to come around with some product. Why that works, because I essentially did cold calling for a quarry selling Cowra white pebbles rough, and I used just to show up with a bucket, they’d rub it a few times and decide where to put it.

    Get an over sized map online, google every wholesaler and draw them on the map and knock them all off one by one.

    Thanks MH08. I’m based in Melbourne now. I’ve started cold calling. Hope can have some good luck.

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