Home lift specialist Stiltz is a market expert in manufacturing lift solutions. It works alongside a network of dealers who, up until recently, would rely on a Stiltz installation team to install any domestic lifts they sold into consumers’ homes.
But in an effort to equip its partners with the know-how and skills to install Stiltz products themselves, the firm launched its installer training programme late last year as a key component of its partner strategy. It is hoped that this new initiative will grant dealers more independence and achieve a smoother installation process for all involved.
Although Stiltz insists its lifts are straightforward to install, aside from the building work to the ceiling, its R&D team is constantly working to make installation as effortless as possible. An easier experience is indeed one reason why the new programme is attractive to dealers.
Also, by encouraging businesses to switch from the Stiltz Lead Referral Scheme and work towards becoming a fully-fledged Stiltz Lifts Installer Partner, the company wants to allow partners to “own the whole customer journey”. That’s according to Gino Farruggio, national sales manager for the company, who explains how giving dealers the option of both selling and installing Stiltz Lifts products can make dealers’ businesses more profitable.
“It is really important for us to make sure there are no territory conflicts where two trade dealers are selling Stiltz products in the same area”
This is part of Stiltz’s wider sales strategy to bring on board partners who it can work with closely to grow the business and increase sales for dealers. But as Farruggio explains, it’s not just about securing any dealer it can attract: “We are looking to set up a trade network that will give us full coverage across the UK. But it’s not about numbers, it is more about working with the dealers in their designated geographical areas and maximising the business potential for them.”
He continues: “It is really important for us to make sure there are no territory conflicts where two trade dealers are selling Stiltz products in the same area. This means that our trade dealers can be confident and maximise their sales knowing that they are the only business to be selling Stiltz products on their particular ‘patch’.”
Having said this, Stiltz clearly has ambitions for an expansive nationwide dealer network. Farruggio notes how the firm hopes to have a trade dealer representing Stiltz in every major city or town in the UK. This does not mean however that the company will trawl indiscriminately for dealer partnerships. Stiltz is adamant that in spite of the interest and approaches from businesses, it is very mindful of the way it selects partners. This is because, says Farruggio, “it is paramount that the customers consistently receive the highest level of service from them”.
It would appear then that Stiltz is targeting a network which balances quality with quantity. In order to maximise the potential quality and success of its dealers, the lift manufacturer recently introduced a dealer support team to complement the lift installation training programme.
It is hoped that by offering support, training, customer service and marketing, the team will give dealers reassurance that they have the back-up of a manufacturer and specialist.
Farruggio is keen to convey that beyond a dealer’s access to a support team and installation training, a partnership with Stiltz and its products can open new markets.
He comments: “Many of our customers also buy a Stiltz lift to ‘future proof’ their home. They might only be in their 60s but because they have no intention of moving home, the lift gives them that extra confidence to remain where they are. They can rest assured that when the stairs might become tricky in later life, they do not need to sell up or spend a fortune on converting their property.”
Dealers are indeed a pivotal part of Stiltz Lifts’ business and so it is no surprise that it strives to forge long-lasting relationships with partners in order that both parties can grow.
Along with its network, the company is continuing to invest in new product design and product development this year. But it is an ongoing drive towards training its partners and providing additional support through its dedicated teams that is steering Stiltz’s strategy.
As its dealer network expands, this level of education will be essential for ensuring partners can sell, install and service its products to the standards it expects. And, in turn, dealers should see the benefit of this investment on their own top and bottom lines.