Industry change drives training.

These days, it seems like everything is changing. Especially when it comes to business. The exponential rate of change in today’s world is reflected in the kitchen and bath industry. Products, especially, are becoming more complex.

In 2018, Ten Pound Hammer took on the project of asking dealers in the custom kitchen and bath industry about the issue of training to determine dealer attitudes toward training and their most important training issues.

One major issue: staying informed of changing product lines.

Industry changes necessitate training. Dealers now rely on training to stay up to date on changing products, modern technology, and innovative offerings.

Through the survey, we found that 80% of dealers currently use training to stay current on the changing product offerings, while 78% use training as a reference when placing manufacturer orders.

These telling responses underscore product complexity.

Throughout the open-ended survey answers, we found an overarching tone of anxiety around the continuous expansion of technology into what has historically been a low-tech construction business.

This is important: if dealers are the least bit confused or uncertain, then they will naturally avoid specifying a product. They will default to a product they are comfortable with, meaning you lose sales.

As the market changes, remember: more complexity demands more training.

This fact is not surprising. When asked about the most important product categories, dealers responded that the more complicated the product, the more that training was needed. Custom cabinets were cited by 89% of respondents as a top category in which dealers desire brand training, while semi-custom cabinets and appliances were selected by 38% and 35% of dealers, respectively. We also analyzed 229 open-ended responses that elaborated on these categories.

Keep in mind, the dealer as the trusted expert will carry far more weight with the end customer than any brand marketing messages. Or put another way, if your dealer isn’t comfortable with your product they can easily render your marketing efforts moot. Training is the connection between your product, people, and revenue and it is the one thing you need to keep up with – and succeed – in a changing industry.

Ten Pound Hammer has created content and programs for clients across a range of industries. Click here to request a copy of our white paper on the relationship between sales and training.

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