Large warehouseSo the big box store is coming to town and now it’s time to compete with them.  Many cabinet dealers in this situation discount their ability to make a sale and think the only thing the buyers are attracted to is cheap kitchens. So, what do they do to compete?  They take on a few more cabinet lines.

Well if you haven’t already figured out the flaw in that logic, here’s a little explanation.

Adding more lines and more brands isn’t the golden ticket to competing with the big box stores. In all actuality, carrying just a few specific lines can make you more competitive. You then become specialized and your salespeople become experts of options and customizations, unlike the sales clerks over at that other store.

Although it is important to grow your business, and while the strategic addition of a brand or line can be beneficial to your business, it is also very important to be good at what you do.

Let’s look at what happens when you bring in a massive amount of lines and brands for your sales team to sell when the big box store arrives:

  1. You have to try to work a magic deal to make it profitable to sell the same lines that the other guys sell.
  2. You have to implement new marketing materials to advertise that you are now selling that line (just like the other guys)
  3. You have to eat the cost of training if the manufacturer isn’t willing to help.
  4. Your sales team now has to learn an entirely new product which leads to mistakes.
  5. Your sales team has to learn how to quote and order an entirely new product which leads to even bigger mistakes.

Keep it Light

A confused buyer (with too many options) never buys (or they take a really long time to buy); a message that the other guys must not be hearing. Big box stores can carry a myriad of cabinet lines because it’s not the only thing that they’re selling.  When you try to take on that business model, you frustrate the customer with too many choices, and you tank your ability to sell products well. The best option is to find lines and brands that sell well in your area, and carry those. When the prospect comes in to price shop you against the big box stores, don’t focus in on the price.  Emphasize how you, a smaller, more specialized store, can be trusted to complete their dream project without the headache, and that you’ll be with them from start to finish (something the big box stores haven’t learned how to do yet).