Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

July 25, 2019

Jeff MowattBy Jeff Mowatt

One of the biggest frustrations I hear from my clients is the amount of time and effort it takes for them to put together proposals, particularly those that don’t end up winning the business. Unfortunately, the standard approach to making client proposals usually involves describing your products or services, including some corporate background, adding a few references, and finishing with pricing information.

This is the last approach you want to take. It practically guarantees you’ll miss the mark. And worse, preparing and delivering these kinds of proposals soaks up significant time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. Here then, are a few tips I share in my seminars on how to deliver proposals that actually boost your business.

1. It’s not about you

It’s about them: your clients. If you start a presentation by talking about your products and services, you’ve already lost them. A purchase doesn’t begin by trying to convince someone to buy something. A purchase begins when a customer perceives a need. That means your first job is to help clarify customer needs. So before making any kind of a proposal, you need to ask several questions.

Begin by admitting that you’re not sure whether or not your products/ services are the right fit for this customer, which is why you’d like to ask a few questions with their permission. That disarms them because you appear to be willing to encourage them to buy elsewhere. It also warns them that this is going to take some time. If they’re not willing to answer a few questions, then this is not a serious potential customer. Wish them well and move on.


Assuming they are willing to spend the time, then ask them what they’ve liked about what other suppliers of this type of product/service have done for them in the past. Then ask what the client has disliked about previous purchases. Next, ask what the perfect solution might look like and why they haven’t found it yet. With those four questions you’ve identified you client’s likes, dislikes and buying objections.

That’s a good place to end. Let the client know that you’ll consider what they’ve shared and you’ll come up with some options. Set up a time/place for the next meeting.

2. Homework wins business

Now do your homework. Read their annual report, especially the president’s remarks about priorities and plans. Do a web search to see what others are posting about them, especially what their customers are saying. If you know other industry insiders, ask about the company’s reputation on the street. What you’re trying to discover is how your products or services will either a) help them achieve their organization’s larger goals or b) reduce some of the headaches or problems they may be facing.

3. They can handle the truth

Start your presentation/ proposal with a sincere compliment about something good that you discovered about them. Be specific. It shows you know your stuff and you’re generous. You might also point out an area for improvement (in your own area of your expertise) that you identified. By offering feedback, you’re positioning yourself as being a resource — a trusted advisor — who sees their big picture and where they might be falling short.

4. Link solutions to problems

Next, describe your products and services in the context of addressing the client’s needs. Reference what they told you and what you also discovered. Make sure you translate any features of your offering into benefits for the customers. Use phrases like, “What this means to you is…”

5. Help them see your difference

Perhaps the most important element of your proposal is describing what makes your approach different from others in your industry. Without running down the competition, explain how typical approaches to solving these types of problems are often fine. Then point out why, in this particular situation, typical approaches won’t likely get the results the client is looking for. That’s why you’re suggesting this different approach.

6. Make it easy

As supplemental material (preferably in an appendix), include your credentials, references, or other evidence that you have a track record of delivering solid results.

In your pricing, provide up to three options (maximum) for ways they might work with you. This shifts the decision from yes or no, to a choice of yeses. 

Bottom line: you’ll win more business by focusing your proposals less on  your  products and services and more on  your clients’  needs. Good luck!

This article is based on the bestselling book, Influence with Ease by Hall of Fame motivational speaker Jeff Mowatt. To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com. Watch for more articles from Jeff in future issues.

 

ISAWith their advanced, microprocessor-based technologies, today's industrial automation and control systems (IACS) deliver much-improved performance and features compared to their analog counterparts. 

Unfortunately, these newer, networked systems-with their ability to be configured remotely-are more vulnerable to cyberattack.

Security PHA Review for Consequence-Based Cybersecurity, a new book published by the International Society of Automation (ISA), introduces an easy-to-follow, cost-effective methodology for safeguarding critical infrastructure and process industry facilities from cyberwarfare and other forms of cyber-risks.

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Jeff MowattBy Jeff Mowatt

One of the biggest frustrations I hear from my clients is the amount of time and effort it takes for them to put together proposals, particularly those that don’t end up winning the business. Unfortunately, the standard approach to making client proposals usually involves describing your products or services, including some corporate background, adding a few references, and finishing with pricing information. 

This is the last approach you want to take. It practically guarantees you’ll miss the mark. And worse, preparing and delivering these kinds of proposals soaks up significant time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere.

Read More

 

David GordonBy David Gordon

During recent calls with distributors to get the pulse of the industry, one area we touched on is eCommerce and specifically the activity that they are seeing from their customers, the investments that they are making, and how it is impacting their overall business. A few trends emerged. 



 

 

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National Investment in Building ConstructionTotal investment in building construction increased 2.2% in May to $15.2 billion. Gains in the residential sector (+2.8% to $10.4 billion) led the increase, while the non-residential sector edged up 0.9% to $4.8 billion. On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction rose 1.8% to $12.7 billion.

Gap in investment between multi-unit and single-unit dwellings continues to grow

Investment in multi-unit dwellings rose 7.6% in May to $5.5 billion, while investment in single-unit dwellings declined 2.2% to $4.9 billion.

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AztecAztec Electrical Supply is one of the most dynamic, fastest growing electrical and automation distributors in Canada. The supplier has four Ontario locations, in Concord, Cambridge, Burlington and Mississauga.

They specialize in supplying quality automation and electrical products to electrical contractors, manufacturing plants, OEMs and custom machine builders. Their comprehensive inventory includes electrical and pneumatic products for breakdowns and emergencies, as well as everyday contractor and MRO requirements. They also work closely with their partners to source specialty products that may be required for major projects.

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Changing Scene

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In his new role Welsh will call on key contractors, projects and job sites to review installation issues and determine potential solutions as the basis for new product ideas by Arlington’s product development team.

Mr. Welsh is a Master Electrician. He was the Chief Electrical Inspector for four areas in Michigan. At the same time, he was the Program Coordinator and Instructor for the Electrical Technology.

 

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ABB PortalThe ABB eFinder portal simplifies the process of locating inventory from ABB’s selection of products used for connection and transmission of electrical power. Customers may now search online for ABB Installation Products and can purchase them from the distributor who has the products in stock. Once the product is located, the customer may buy it from the distributor by connecting directly to the distributor’s e-commerce page and placing the products in an online shopping cart for the final purchase transaction.

 

 

 

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OmnicableOmni Cable Corporation, headquartered in West Chester, PA, hs announced that it has signed an agreement to be acquired by a subsidiary of Dot Holdings Co (DHC), which is owned by Dot Family Holdings (DFH), and join its portfolio of companies.

DFH is focused exclusively on acquiring leading middle-market distribution companies with a special interest in master/two-step distribution and any national distribution models. DFH’s approach to acquiring and holding companies for the long term and investing for growth made them an ideal partner for OmniCable. 

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Peers & Profiles

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House of ElectricalHouse of Electrical Supplies is a distribution company that specializes in ‘service’. They go beyond what a standard supplier provides, not just with knowledgeable employees, but with a compliment of support services.

From small construction to sophisticated industrial projects, House of Electrical stocks electrical supplies for a wide range of applications. For over 30 years, they have been servicing clients in the industrial, OEM, entertainment and construction markets across the greater metropolitan Toronto area. Their product solutions range from electrical, automation, safety, lighting and portable power distribution.

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Looking Back

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The best memory I keep from CEDA is the way that they accepted me when I came into the business. ...
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