By November 2, 2017 Read More →

A more hands-on approach to training

Claire Philpott, of HellermannTyton, explains why wholesalers need to take a more hands-on approach to training – and how closer relationships with manufacturers can help improve customer service.

Today’s electrical wholesaler is constantly facing a range of threats with competition emerging daily from new internet retailers, catalogue distributors and other direct sales channels. As such, differentiation is often created through the customer experience and crucially, the knowledge and expertise that a wholesaler can deliver to a customer.

With so many products on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is best suited to each application. This is where a more hands-on approach to training can reap rewards.

Traditionally, it has been difficult for wholesalers to access the type of product information and training that they require. This data was often accessed in the form of flyers and visits from salespeople, often looking to promote a particular product range.

This may give wholesalers a better understanding about individual products but it does not equip them with an in-depth understanding of their entire range, potentially leaving them exposed when unable to answer difficult questions from customers.

This is why we developed the HellermannTyton Academy, a global initiative dedicated to delivering interactive training sessions for customers and wholesalers, enabling them to get to grips with our vast range of manufactured products themselves.

Armed with this knowledge, they are in a better position to advise their own customers. Salespeople can only take so many products with them on a visit to a wholesaler, but by visiting one of our international manufacturing or warehousing facilities, wholesalers can access hands-on training for our vast range of products and applications.

How does this manufacturer relationship improve that of wholesalers and contractors?

We all know that wholesalers have two business aims; not only do they want to guide customers to the right product every time to build trust and create repeat business but they also need to know when and how to upsell customers in order to increase their own profit margins.

This is a very difficult thing to do when wholesalers don’t just struggle to understand the products available for their stores and their customers, but also when they have limited experience of how more than one product can work together.

To effectively service an electrical contractor, you need to think like one, and therefore, must have experienced some of the common applications they carry out each working day. The HellermannTyton Academy gives wholesalers this opportunity.

They can visit our training centres, and access our products to cut, connect, and install cables in a real working environment, finding out for themselves the most effective tool for each application.

More often than not, people remember things better when they have experience of doing it, rather than when they read about it on a flyer, or in a brochure. By taking part in this interactive training, wholesalers can deliver an even better customer experience, guiding contractors through a store with recommendations of complete cable management products and solutions.

Developing solutions, even when there are none in stock

Of course, by forming strong relationships with manufacturers, wholesalers can achieve a lot more than product knowledge. We actively encourage wholesalers to visit the HellermannTyton Academy with their own customers, and our facilities can be used for them to train their own customers, further strengthening the wholesaler – contractor relationship.

The HellermannTyton Academy is about more than training. It’s about giving wholesalers direct access to our design and manufacturing facilities. Even the best stocked wholesaler could come across a specific request from a customer that they struggle to respond to.

For some niche applications, the required product for an application may not even exist so rather than trying to find the next best product on the market, wholesalers can approach us with their specific design requirements. If a certain product is in demand, we can work with them to design and manufacture that product. This enables wholesalers to exceed the expectations of customers and deliver a personalised service beyond that of competitors.

Edmundson Electrical is one wholesaler that recently visited the HellermannTyton Academy to learn about the products and services that we can offer to the wholesale market.

Graham Rennie, of Edmundson Widnes, said: “The HellermannTyton Academy was great way for me to gain a greater understanding of the business and the range of products they offer. The conference facilities are fantastic and the products demonstrated showcased a good cross section of the HellermannTyton range.”

This business is already putting what it learned into practice, and forming closer relationships with its own customers as it continues to build a competitive advantage – all through a more hands-on approach to training.

For information about the HellermannTyton Academy, visit: