A very important part of Distribution Sales work is the fostering of relationships beyond the distributor. The mission of the distribution sales team is simple and consistent in all of our regions across North America- Build, foster, enhance and support our most valuable assets; the ultimate buyer. That may sound easy, but it takes commitment, industry knowledge, communication, and a strong belief in our company and in each other.
Paul Aliotti is a veteran Leviton sales professional, one of the most successful revenue drivers in the company and a key part of the Pacific Central sales team managed by Jerry Brumfield.
Paul spends many hours every day making customer calls, training, meeting with contractors, visiting jobsites, and handling the quoting, selling, follow-up calling, and many other aspects of the distribution sales rep's life. His success over the decades is largely due to his understanding of the ED channel and the multitude of ways decisions are made, who makes them and how to influence those decisions to benefit Leviton the most.
Paul has built his career around a basic strategy; Know everybody - Know every decision maker at every end-user, every contractor and every distributor.
We recently had a large California distributor choose to convert to a competitor. The potential loss to us was significant, over $4 million. Many of our contractor firms are 2nd and 3rd generation companies where relationships mean a great deal.
Building a business that lasts requires many things, one of the most important is establishing a high level of trust... in the brand, in the quality of the product, in the supply chain capabilities, and certainly in the trust of our sales people.
Jerry and his team work very hard to achieve this high level of trust with every customer, and sometimes their efforts yield something in addition to trust, something that can stand the test of time and the attacks of our competitors ... Loyalty.
Recently, it was that very loyalty which played an important role in a situation that arose suddenly.
Black Diamond Electric is the largest residential electrical contractor in Northern California. They are also a longtime Leviton customer and one of Paul's great relationships. It was because of the relationship that Black Diamond stood strong with Leviton and said "no" to attempts by that now competitive distributor when they tried with a competitive manufacturer to capture over $1.5 Million in annual wiring device business as part of this conversion.
Sonepar Distributors aggressively attempted to switch manufacturers and move Black Diamond's business away from Leviton. And theycould have succeeded, if the decision was going to be based on price alone. But, as one of the owners of Black Diamond pointed out, "Leviton and Black Diamond have formed a strong bond. It is this bond along with a high level of confidence in Leviton products, supply chain and support that contributed to Black Diamond staying with Leviton."
In the end, having a strong personal relationship with the owners was the differentiator that tipped the scales in favor of Leviton.
This story and the result is just one of many we hope to achieve in the tumultuous Northern California market. It is a strong example, which underscores how important customer relationships and building brand loyalty are to retaining customers.
Hats off to Paul Aliotti and Jerry Brumfield!