Inside Eastman’s New Elite Dealer ProgramMarch 2nd, 2016 by Casey Flores
Eastman wants window film consumers to have a better end-experience—and the company is equipping select, professional dealers in order to make that happen.
The window film manufacturer unveiled its new LLumar SelectPro elite dealer program at its annual conference last week to many attendees’ liking.
“I think it’s great. Basically they’re really trying to clean up the Formula One program,” says Josh Maharajh of Genesis Window Tinting, who was at the event.
The program has been in the works for several years and its purpose will be to tie in the consumer marketing efforts of Eastman to dealers who are a part of this program with services such as lead generation.
According to Kevin Koval, owner of Carmel, Ind.-based Solaris Window Film, the manufacturer’s research showed them that consumers were avoiding getting window film altogether because of “shady” tint shops. The requirements to be a part of its new elite dealer program aim to rid its participants of that stigma.
“A lot of it comes down to cleanliness and the first thing that they see,” says Koval, a former window film representative. “I’ve seen a lot of scary shops.”
Some of the requirements and recommendations involve the customer experience, including entertainment options such as televisions and Wi-Fi, professional-looking attire and “comfortable” furniture, to name a few. Another requirement is a minimum purchase of film from Eastman.
“We know the majority of consumers today do their research with mobile devices; it’s critical our (elite) dealers have a mobile friendly website,” said Darrell Reed, commercial director, North America, at last week’s meeting. He added that they expect almost all of the company’s elite dealers to fully align with this program.
Mike Feldman, president of Advanced Film Solutions in Lutz, Fla., says this will also help hone the manufacturer’s marketing efforts.
“This will consolidate their marketing efforts to focus on one brand: LLumar, which is much better known,” Feldman says. “So they came up with this LLumar SelectPro,” to which current Vista/Formula One dealers will have to reapply.
Tommy Silva, president and CEO of T&T Tinting Specialists Inc., says all Eastman is doing is “cleaning house.”
“Dealers who ‘say’ they are loyal and using their products, obtaining valuable leads from Eastman and then switching to use other brands, and dealers that … don’t look/act professional or ethically play their respective roles are going to have something to worry about (if they value continued access to these products),” he explains. “Conversely, dealers looking to work as good business partners and succeed with a solid plan for growth in place should prosper and see much advantage of a cleaned-up exclusive window film program.”
Silva, who did $3 million in film sales in 2014, says he plans to enroll “if they’ll have us,” but doesn’t think just any dealer will be able to meet the new requirements, and believes that’s a good thing.
“There are some dealers in the system now who don’t take their business seriously, don’t play by any basic business rules and don’t even grasp the current marketing trends or have a company website,” he says. Those companies would not be considered for the SelectPro program.
Dealers do who meet the standards will agree to a contract, to be reviewed and renewed annually. Dealers who do not meet the standards or do not wish to participate in the program will still have the option of being standard LLumar-authorized dealers.
Maharajh says it’s an exciting program and that Genesis plans on enrolling.
“They’re going to do a lot more for us on their end when it comes to referrals and leads,” he says.
Koval says the company has already done much for his business and he sees this program as only increasing that.
“We’ve seen more good leads come from Eastman than we ever did under the Solutia banner,” he says. “They’ve been leads we’ve been able to convert to direct sales.”
He explains the manufacturer representatives realize that some of the standards will take an investment and is willing to work with some dealers on that.
Dealers interested in becoming part of the program will have to work with their representative to schedule an evaluation between August and October. Dealers will then be approved by December 2016 and sign agreements. The program will roll out to consumers in February 2017.