Sanyo and Hill York Enter Partnership Valued at Over a Million Dollars at MechanicalXchange
As Vice President of Sanyo, Davis Watkins does not generally interact with someone like Jeff Phillabaum, the President of Hill York. Normally, Watkins’ sales representatives would attempt to contact Phillabaum and struggle to get past gatekeepers. “Our local reps have impediments to meeting someone like Jeff Phillabaum. These reps operate at the street level; they may never be successful in getting to the level of a Jeff Phillabaum who may often delegate sales calls to someone else in his organization.”
“Jeff normally would not find out about our technology options, but while at the MechanicalXchange he wanted to know about the level of manufacturer support he could expect for a multi-million project like Nova University Dormitory project,” said Watkins. The project was important enough to Phillabaum that when he returned to the office he interceded on behalf of Sanyo to make some changes within his company. Phillabaum was very instrumental in bringing Sanyo’s new technology to Hill York.
The Challenge: First, the perception that Executives at Contracting companies were not the right people to be talking to had to be changed. The second challenge was to open the lines of communication and create enough time to foster an executive level relationship.
The Role of MechanicalXchange: For Sanyo, it is important to have the opportunity to work side-by-side with Hill York on projects. Due to the fact that regional sales representatives do not generally pursue a relationship with an Executive like Phillabaum, the meetings at MechanicalXchange are critical for creating that relationship. Having the top level Executives put their name on a project mitigates risk.
Finding a New Way: The biggest problem a manufacturer faces is getting through to Executives like Jeff Phillabaum. Sales Representatives don’t carry the power to get through to Executives and spend their time dealing with business at the “street level”.
Trade shows don’t offer the opportunity for contractors and suppliers, at an executive level, to develop long-lasting, meaningful relationships. “In a down economy, you have to target your efforts to something that is more productive. I see more of a direct return on our investment from MechanicalXchange than from any trade show,” said Watkins. “This venue takes a lot of the chance out of business.”
The Result: After the MechanicalXchange meeting with Hill York of Fort Lauderdale, Sanyo landed a large dormitory project at Nova University Southeast. The MechanicalXchange provided Sanyo with the opportunity to not only provide a unique solution for Nova, but Hill York President Jeff Phillabaum now wants to use Sanyo technology on three other major projects, valued at approximately $1.5 million.
Says Watkins, “I see more direct return on our investment from MechanicalXchange than from any tradeshow.”