It’s shocking how much knowledge most roofing supply professionals have on equipment because it takes more than hand-held tools and fasteners to complete the job.
How often do you notice the equipment pictured in the background on roofing jobs posted to social media? Did you notice the generator or roofing cart that’s not the main focal point of the photo? It’s as simple as this: how can you serve an industry when you don’t have the full picture? Here’s how – knowledge, access, and technical support.
The knowledge one needs to be an equipment specialist is vast, multilingual, and may take many years to obtain. In the meantime, actively listen to your customers and their needs. Are they mentioning other companies when speaking about tools and equipment? Are you familiar with the tools and equipment they are requesting? Social media is a great tool to utilize when developing equipment knowledge. You can search across multiple platforms and find videos of roofers on jobs and even in their warehouses, recording themselves. You will notice their favorite pieces; they are the most used and abused! However, this equipment is crucial for productivity.
Traditionally, trade shows are a great way to learn more about equipment in our industry. There are many different types of equipment manufacturers. From safety equipment to tear-off equipment, trade shows are good way to see it all. Just be sure to stop and check out all the booths containing equipment, even the smaller brands. Often, small-scale, more specialized manufacturers’ have a broader knowledge of a specific set of products. Be prepared to evaluate and determine time-saving products and look to have solutions for your customers’ problems with equipment.” If you can solve your customers’ production problems with equipment, that is extremely valuable.
Could the solutions be as easy as providing access to durable material-moving equipment like wheelbarrows and roofing carts? Seek brands specializing in our industry to manufacture equipment curtailed to your customers’ needs. The ability to offer material moving equipment, motorized equipment, tear-off equipment, hot equipment, generators, and safety products is highly sought after. The equipment is in great demand, and universal maintenance parts are involved. You must become familiar with common names and brands to determine specific components. In some cases, the name brand is used to identify the tool when, in reality, it is more a generalized term. Again, social media is your friend.
Our industry requires rapid access to technical issues that may come up in the field. If you are potentially going to offer a set of products, it is crucial that product support is also available. Be prepared to have solutions for your customers’ questions on products and technical support. This knowledge and access are indispensable, and will create a more substantial relationship with your customer. Not only will it grow your connections, but it will also diversify your portfolio. The expertise required is considerable but not limitless.
Are you willing to be a one-stop shop for your customers?