Factory Representatives

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by John Pletcher, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. John Pletcher

    John Pletcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I would like to hear from the top 10% of you (you know who you are: would do lighitng for nothing if that was the only way you could do it), as to which manufacturer has the best representation out there.

    I do not mean the reps that love it when you are stuffing money in their pockets and disappear when there is a problem, never to call, hoping the problem heals itself and you forget they left you high and dry. Nor the reps that show up with a uninformed distributor for the easy sale but when you ask the tough questions disappear (promising they will soon come back with all the answers) and never return.

    I mean the manufacturer that has the reps that are there for you when its good and bad. The ones that give you answers or actually care enough to go and find it if they do not know the answers to your questions.
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    So far, My main experience has been with Vista and Unique. For product questions Unique is a sponsor here, so getting questions answered directly about fixtures, trannys, etc from the horses mouth is invaluable. However, The Unique rep for my area has never tried to get together with me, whereas my Vista rep is always right there for me. All in all they are both OK though.
  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    I would say Kichler and Unique for manufactures and Longhorn irrigation supply in Texas and Terradek for a national when it comes to distributors. These folks have always been there when I've needed them no matter what the issue was.
  4. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    Personally, once I became established in this business I no longer had a need to look to reps for answers. I believe I now have more knowledge than the majority of them do, so the only questions I might have would be about new product lines, developments, etc....
    As far as doing it for nothing; Are you serious? This is a business, just like any other, that puts food on the table. The day I stop getting paid for my talent is the day I stop providing it.
  5. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    I agree with Chris. I haven't talked to a rep in a very long time, nor do I feel the need to. My supplier gives us what we need and if there is ever any problem, we just go back to them and they take care of everything promptly. I don't even know who are reps. are for the lines we deal with.
  6. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I believe most of us here know way more about lighting than your average rep. I have met a few that were knowledgable, but very few indeed. Mostly they are good for supplying us with new product samples and updating us on what they are working on.
  7. NiteTymeIlluminations

    NiteTymeIlluminations LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    I would suggest rubbing elbows with reps as much as possible. They get contacted with leads and large jobs. If a developer contacts kichler directly the rep in that area gets contacted. If you have a rapport with the rep you get the lead. Silly not to make nice and call the rep every few weeks to see ahts going on in the market.
  8. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    Doug, shouldn't our reps be calling on us? Isn't that what a quality rep is supposed to do?
  9. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    As a former contractor , who just closed up shop in November I can tell you guys a few things. I , like Chris and most of you, didnt need a rep because I knew what I was doing and I just needed the best price possible , delivery to office or job site , and proper billing.

    Now , most reps and outside reps for irrigation /lighting houses are to help the new contractor get started and keep quality standards high and be a steward for the industry. It is my responsibility to make sure he is charging enough, he understands voltage drop, etc. I am trying to keep lighting going at the highest level with high end , quality landscape/irrigation installers. I can tell you that some of the best contractors that I have seen are electricians who do lighting right-they do it by the book, installed perfectly. And they are charging enough to pay a decent price for the fixture, and get help from me when they need it . You can tell what reps are doing a good job in your area by the amount of product you see out in the trade.If you see tons of Unique then he is working the area- if you dont then he isnt.

    The amount of Kichler in you area will tell you if the rep is getting it done or not. I can tell you that here Hadco has fallen off the face of the Earth. The Unique, Kichler and Cast guys are in my place every week.
  10. NiteTymeIlluminations

    NiteTymeIlluminations LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Very true, but its not only the mfr rep that impact the area. Cincinnati is so hard core kichler and hadco because of the distributor who was in the area.

    My only comment onthis is dont think you dont need a rep...having good rapport with a rep and taking his calls is a great way to expand your business. Ignoring his/her calls leaves you in the dust of the guy who takes his/her calls. and that goes for distibuotrs, be cordial and if you cant talk say that top him and call him back when you can.

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