February 21, 2023
Cory Anderson cracked the code on customer stickiness by writing his own rules. As president of M&A Supply based out of Nashville, this third-generation leader has gone all-in on providing a peak customer experience in the hyper-competitive HVAC vertical. Jason caught up with Cory to discuss his company’s technology journey, the goal-setting tool it relies on to manage growth, and why M&A invests in large-scale incentive trips, even when the bottom-line returns are difficult to quantify.
Customer relationships in all forms are the focus at M&A: virtual, face-to-face, casual, close. When the pandemic forced most distributors to reevaluate their client-facing tech, Cory and his team had already implemented upgrades, including a mobile app which made staying connected less stressful. “We had a pretty good
little segment of customers that were already utilizing [the app] when Covid hit,” he recalls. Now that life has settled back into some semblance of normalcy, M&A is shifting its attention to other innovative e-commerce projects, even if its budget can’t match those of the biggest players in the market. Cory is okay with that. “Our flexibility is gonna make up ground there. And that's what I'm excited about.”
Another M&A strategy for maintaining stickiness is their annual customer trips. These are grand, once-in-a-lifetime excursions (think Hawai’i, Italy, and the Caribbean). “We buy into the dealer trip idea and what it brings. And, I know you’re gonna ask, ‘Hey, what’s the ROI?” laughs Cory. In all seriousness, the emotional ties are worth every dollar spent. “It really is priceless to meet our best customers [ ] in a relaxing environment where you can just sit, talk, have a drink with somebody, and not have the pressures of running that business there.”
So, is there a fourth generation in M&A’s future? Maybe, but not for a while yet. “My job is to make sure that we're growing the right way,” Cory says. To that end, he and the M & A leadership team recently committed to following EOS - the Entrepreneurial Operating System. “It's [about] being very intentional, setting your goals. And it’s been a blessing for us, and we're gonna continue pushing down that trail.”
“We're being a lot more intentional about what our sales team is doing and our purpose and how we help our contractors grow.”
“Being a consumer myself, there's a lot of power to when you can see inventory levels, availability, price, everything right there in your phone. So I'm a hundred percent for that, and that's the direction we're moving.”
“We understand our technology budget is a sliver of what others are. So, I think what helps us is we're gonna be able to be flexible and nimble and really working to make the experience really good.”
“We've got a ten-year plan, and we're on EOS to where we're tracking everything, having meetings pretty regularly, making sure that we're staying on track. We’re probably more organized than we've ever been. We've got big lofty goals, and we're gonna go out there and achieve 'em.”
DT113: Hot E-Commerce Strategies to Convert Your Cold Leads with Digital Sales and Marketing Specialist Susan Merlo
DT099:Meet Next Gen Customers Where They Live Via Mobile Engagement With Pierre Barbeau of Moblico Solutions
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
EOS-Entrepreneurial Operating System
Distribution Talk is produced by The Distribution Team, a consulting services firm dedicated to helping wholesale distribution clients remove barriers to profitability, generate wealth and achieve personal goals.
This episode was edited & mixed by The Creative Impostor Studios.
Special thanks to our sponsor for this episode: HMI Performance Incentives, providing innovative, data-driven B2B incentive solutions.