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How to Gain Most from Distributor Events (Part 1)

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(Photo: ©iStockphoto/Alexander Chernyakov)

Kathryn Q. Rowen |

Recognize opportunities up-front for greatest benefit

RIPON, Wis. — Whether a seasoned veteran of the laundry industry or a newcomer, store owners continually strive to improve their Laundromats. One of the simplest ways an owner can feel empowered to make these improvements is by participating in distributor events such as open houses, sales shows and service schools.

While the format and frequency of events vary from one distributor to the next, owners should understand the benefits available so they can get the most from attending.

NEWEST TECHNOLOGIES AND PRODUCTS

Distributors will have the “latest and greatest” commercial laundry equipment on display at their events. Instead of reading about a washer-extractor’s efficiency capabilities, owners can get a first-hand look and “kick the tires” of the product in person, so to speak.

Not many of us would purchase a car without test-driving it, let alone never having seen it, so owners should use these events to see what’s under the hood, or the frame, of a manufacturer’s equipment. From testing a washer-extractor’s advanced control system to simply observing how easily a tumble dryer’s door opens and closes, an owner will get a better idea of how it would fit in the store and work for customers.

Huebsch Regional Sales Manager Keith York has seen many distributors in the Northeast host sales shows similar to the Clean Show, just on a local scale. In addition to showcasing the newest commercial laundry equipment, the distributors invite area vendors to exhibit related products such as card readers, water heaters, vending machines and laundry carts. That way, owners can see all the ways it’s possible to improve their stores. For those planning on opening a new store, this sales show format is of particular benefit as they could potentially outfit the store in one day.

MANUFACTURER SUPPORT

While a distributor may be an owner’s main day-to-day contact, many events provide the opportunity to meet with manufacturer representatives.

Customer-focused companies want to hear from their equipment purchasers. Owners should use these events to share their experiences—the good, the bad and the ugly—and ask questions of the manufacturer. Expect a factory sales representative to be present at sales shows, while it is likely that a member of the manufacturer’s technical team would attend major service school initiatives.

As only select commercial laundry equipment manufacturers provide laundry-focused, in-house financing, not every distributor event offers customers the opportunity to meet with finance specialists. For those that do, it is a great time for owners seeking funding to meet one-on-one with a specialist and learn about the laundry-focused programs available. They can even complete an application on the spot.

If an owner has attended multiple events and never seen a manufacturer representative present, it could be an indication of a lack of commitment to customer care and service by both the distributor and equipment manufacturer.

Check back Tuesday for the conclusion!

About the author

Kathryn Q. Rowen

Huebsch®

North American Sales Manager

Kathryn Q. Rowen is the Huebsch® North American sales manager and may be reached at Kathryn.Rowen@alliancels.com.

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