DeBourgh’s core values have traveled through the company’s legacy, and it’s been a point of pride for us so much so that our standards have extended from DeBourgh itself to our representatives. The company is selective about working with people who have similar values to ours. We don’t rush into business with people.
Third generation Rob Berg has a philosophy that he’s passed down to his adult children, now working in the company: “We’re huggers.” Meaning we tend not to do business with people who won’t hug us at the end of the day. That trend stems from something inherent in the company. The type of business that we do is reliant on trust and relationships. We want to feel free to be as generous as we can be while still being responsible to our company. If we can’t give a little where and how we want to without expecting to be taken advantage of, it’s kind of not worth doing.
Our business model reflects one of trust, integrity, and honesty. These are ingrained in our entire team, and this extends to our dealers. It’s not just that we expect it; it’s that that’s the only way we know how to do business and the way we want to. And we recognize that model isn’t for everyone.
What is a Dealer?
DeBourgh manufacturers lockers, so we work with dealers or representatives who travel around the country talking to people who are looking for a high-quality locker product. It’s not unlike the relationship between Ford dealerships and Ford manufacturer. The manufacturer develops and perfects the product; while the dealership connects with customers, sells the product, and follows up with any issues or concerns.
We rely on people who already have relationships with potential buyers and who are working through those connections. In our last blog, The History of DeBourgh & the Berg Family, we discussed second-generation DeBourgh family member, Bob Berg, who was the one to start our dealer network and connect with people who share the same business model.
It matters how our company and the high quality of our products and standards are presented to buyers. We will never apologize for being one of the highest prices in the market because what we are selling is truly worth it. We're not only selling high-quality lockers that will last and last, but also the experience of DeBourgh.
In fact, it was one of our stellar dealers, Brad Lee from Indiana, with a Lee company who was the first one to put it in a way that rang true for us: “We don’t sell lockers, we sell DeBourgh.”
These dealers are our representation, our boots on the ground. They are the first person to go in and interact with the customers, which is why it’s so important that they share our values. The quality of DeBourgh stands alone, but without the customer driven service experience, it’s not as meaningful. Lockers aren’t typically the thing that comes into the room and lights up everyone’s day. But for people with truly pressing locker issues, DeBourgh lockers are a big deal.
What Would a Dealer Do in the Field?
A dealer might take responsibility for making that first connection and for having an open line of communication so that we have a full understanding of the customers’ needs. Since everything we create is custom-built per job, the dealer is responsible for confirming the measurements and keeping in touch all the way through the selling process. They are also in charge of overseeing the installation, and must have a thorough understanding of how the lockers work to guarantee a correct installation. An incorrect installation will never last as long as a correct one, and it impacts the overall quality of the DeBourgh experience if this step isn’t done right.
From initial introductions to installation to follow up, the dealer makes sure that everything has gone smoothly and that the customer is satisfied with their product.
We often participate in trade shows both nationally and locally, so that we can stay in connected with the dealers. We enjoy doing factory tours as often as we can, where dealers can come and see the product, and meet our sales people they talk with every day. Recently, we brought a group of dealers together to tour the company and took an entire weekend to a ski resort to bond over snowboards and snowmobiles. That’s just fun business, to spend time with the people who represent our company.
What is the Process?
We encounter many dealers for the first time after they have tried selling against us and were introduced to the unparallel value of our products. Others are looking for a positive experience with a manufacturer after having to deal with a negative one.
If you’re a prospective DeBourgh dealer, hoping to carry the DeBourgh line, we should say that DeBourgh may not be a fit for every company. You’ll have to decide if it’s worth it to you to take that extra call, to make that extra trip, to spend that extra hour with a customer. Because that’s what DeBourgh does. We do the extra work that is required to sell a high-end product. You can't expect to have the ability to take a product like DeBourgh’s and bid it at the last second and win.
It’s important there’s a good match, a strong relationship between our two businesses. What we’re looking for from our dealers is those who understand the value of consultative selling and true customer service. We are always on the lookout for people whose business models and ideals match up with that.
Contact us directly to start discussions about becoming a dealer. Our promise is that we will give every situation the attention that it deserves, especially the significant step of starting to work with a new company.