Rick Phelps

Synchronous Solutions

In much of the country, the market for countertops has softened, often significantly. We have heard fabricators express that they are “Market Constrained”…

Is that true? Are any countertop fabricators actually “market constrained”? 

That would mean there is not enough business in the markets they serve to fill their shop. If they have competitors, there is enough business out there, it is just not THEIR business (yet)!

It can be convenient to say one is “market constrained” because that means it is not your fault. Fair enough, but adversity is opportunity, and too many are squandering it!

Fabricators are not “market constrained,” they are “sales constrained.” Take a look at your sales team. Have them do a simple time study, tracking how many hours a week they are spending selling. And by ‘selling,’ I mean actually talking to people you have not done business with recently, or at all. What I do not mean by selling is ‘order taking,’ which is what most people in sales have been reduced to in this industry.

I think you will be shocked at how few hours a week are spent in your business seeking new business. I’d wager it’s significantly less than 10% of your sales team’s time. And that’s on you. Your top salespeople are not spending much time selling, and THAT is why your shop is not full. It has little to do with the market.

Our six-step improvement process is a guide for addressing all types of issues in your business. Let’s apply it to this problem:

1. Define the Boundaries of the System to be improved.

Your Sales System and all the people associated with marketing and sales.

2. State the Objective of the system:

To bring in the right amount of sales to keep the production shop running at near capacity. 

3. Identify the Key Results that measure progress toward the Objective.

  • The number of orders placed.

  • The number of new clients landed. 

  • Add other appropriate metrics to monitor activities that lead to new clients.

4. Identify the Constraint limiting the Key Results.

  • Sales conversations is your constraint!!

  • It could also be the skillsets of those salespeople…

5. Define the Strategies to Exploit the Constraint.

Maximize the time your top salespeople spend talking to new prospects or former clients. 

6. Subordinate all non-constraints to the Constraint.

If your salespeople are your constraint, everyone else is NOT a constraint. Off-load ALL the work your salespeople are doing that doesn’t directly lead to more sales conversations. Re-assign other people to set the schedule for your salespeople, including identifying prospects and booking meetings. Assign others to take the information from the salespeople to enter into your CRM and write the quotes.

I can hear some of your objections already – but to win new clients we may need to offer lower prices. Yeah, that is likely true. So what?

Too many people are willing to let their capacity sit idle and layoff team members because they don’t have enough business. That’s ridiculous. Maybe you can’t make a profit right now, but not all is lost – use this time to wipe out your weaker competitors while maintaining your work force.

Fill your shop, keep your team, and position your business to make a killing when the market comes back! And it always comes back...

If you need help with your strategic planning, reach out to us at Synchronous Solutions! Contact us though our website
www.synchronous-solutions.com/contact-us .