Over the last year the PowerHouse Alliance was fortunate to maintain a full-stock of our most popular products to continuously meet integrator demands, but I don’t think we can expect as smooth of a ride as we continue moving through 2022. A recent survey of CEOs found 77 percent feel their actions to address supply chain disruption are not effective enough. We are all trying to figure out how to navigate a potentially challenging year ahead as the supply chain continues to wreak havoc. We surveyed each distributor member and asked what advice they can give to dealers in order to succeed going into the new year.
Foster a Connection
One piece of advice our members had for our dealers was to maintain and further foster relationships with their existing client base. PowerHouse members plan to lead by example in this category — 80 percent of PowerHouse distributor members plan to expand their dealer relationships this year. Dealers can look at expanding their RMR services by including 24/7 tech support, free installation on select products, discounts on custom installations, and exclusive member prices. These are services most other integration companies are readily offering, although they may not be packaged the same way. Dealers should consider how they might be able to package a program like this to act as a resource while previous customers are contemplating technology upgrades. Stay in contact with past clients!
Marketing Makes a Difference
Creating a consistent marketing cadence is a great way to help keep a dealer’s referral pipeline moving, yielding new projects. Sending an email with new products and industry trends, as well as following up on current systems in use with previous customers, helps revive the already-made relationship. As we transition to spring, touch base with customers to see if they want to expand their entertaining options outdoors or replace that older 55-inch television with a new 72-inch 4K or 8K model. Another key marketing tactic dealers should not be ignoring is the use of social media for product updates, tech support, and general communication with clients. Social media allows integrators and dealers to showcase the work they have done while connecting with new and previous customers. Using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is not only a way to communicate, but also works as a showcase tool, showing off previous installations.
Time to Train
While shortages could cause periodic slowdowns this year, that’s no time for anyone to sit idle. This is a prime time to take advantage of different training and certification opportunities available in your market. In May 2021, we announced a partnership with CEDIA in hopes of expanding the local availability of their industry-leading training programs and certifications. This partnership between PowerHouse and CEDIA can be accessed in-person across all 55 member locations throughout the United States. With the goal of hosting trainings at each member location once per quarter, these trainings aim to offer each dealer peace of mind, ensuring that new hires are learning the correct protocols and standards to succeed in not just their position, but the industry as well.
In fact, 50 percent of our members plan to offer more training opportunities this year in order to give dealers and technicians a chance to advance in their careers through a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of systems integration. With hands-on training more accessible than ever before, technicians will equip some of the most important skills, including using tools, job site etiquette and safety, documentation, and testing. Whether it be in-person or virtual, dealer trainings are a great way to promote new products, offer new ideas, and help dealers understand the importance of marketing to both new and existing customers.
Also by Dennis Holzer: Repeat Business
Kicking off our CEDIA training for 2022, our member Pioneer Music hosted an in-person wiring training and certification in Kansas, where attendees were able to gain a baseline understanding of the industry as a whole. “This training course is definitely geared for both installers who are interested in getting into this industry and those already in the industry who want to learn the various roles on the job site, different types of tools, cables, wires, and want an opportunity to get some hands-on experience,” shares Krissy Budish from Pioneer Music.
PowerHouse will be working with members across the country to schedule similar training sessions through the rest of the year. Watch for the times and locations of these trainings.
Explore New Products
It’s important for dealers to be flexible and able to adjust to something else when the product you wanted is not available. PowerHouse members’ final bit of advice for dealers is don’t be afraid to diversify your offerings. Dealers should be looking for what else is out there that will benefit the client in the long run by diversifying your product suite or categories — whether it be lighting, shades, health/wellness, smart locks, or even air purifiers. The PowerHouse Alliance has consistently added to its available product lines to offer more options to its dealers, recently announcing an extension of the A2V speaker lines to include new in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. Five other lines are being added to all 55-plus PowerHouse Alliance locations. The new lines include Aruba, Enclave Audio, Focal, Kanto, and Cync by Savant, with more to be announced.
PowerHouse is committed to supporting dealer’s growth in 2022. Connect with us at www.powerhouse.com to find your local distributor, check out upcoming trainings, and see where we can help you do more business.
With over 30 years of experience, Dennis Holzer has done everything from salesman, to spending over 15 years as president and owner of Hamburg Brothers. Dennis joined the PowerHouse Alliance as executive director in 2009.