Built On Solid Relationships
Watson Sales Company, Champion’s manufacturer’s rep agency in North Carolina, is built on relationships. The Watson Sales team truly enjoys engaging with engineers and contractors to recommend electrical solutions for industrial construction projects. Not only has the company helped spread the word about Champion Fiberglass conduit throughout the PVC shortage, they have been successful in turning customers into Champion Fiberglass fans.
Watson Sales Differentiates with Specialization
Watson Sales Company has been in business for over 30 years. The company specializes in niche electrical products such as power distribution, raceway, corrosion resistance, power quality, and controls for mission critical, lab and industrial applications in North Carolina and South Carolina. The company strives to help customers simplify and improve their electrical infrastructure with the latest product technology.
Working Together, Champion Fiberglass and Watson Sales Provide Solutions
Bruce Watson, Principal/Sales Engineer, Watson Sales Co., describes the relationship with Champion Fiberglass as a two way street. The two companies have worked together on projects such as bridges, data centers, solar farms, and pharmaceutical plants. They’ve enjoyed a long history — over 25 years — of working together.
Both companies place a priority on educating customers. Champion Fiberglass educates customers about the many solutions their products provide. Watson Sales enjoys demonstrating to engineers and contractors how these solutions work by application. They achieve this with consultative sales process that includes design assistance, installation seminars and lunch-and-learn events.
When the two firms began working together, Bruce Watson recalls how challenging it was to get an audience with engineers and contractors to discuss fiberglass conduit. Then came acceptance by state departments of transportation, and awareness for Champion Fiberglass conduit has been growing ever since. “Even though it has been around since 1988, Champion Fiberglass is fun to sell because it is still new to so many. There are always people who need to be educated about it,” explains Watson.
Working together, Champion Fiberglass helped Watson Sales make touchpoints that are now coming to fruition. The Champion Fiberglass inside sales team initiated lunch and learn events at engineering firms within the territory. While it was great to make the contact, Watson admits that the efforts were not immediately fruitful. However, the engineers in attendance walked away with knowledge of the product and its benefits.
Cue a global PVC shortage and the information the engineers gleaned comes into sharper focus. With steel prices doubling and PVC prices tripling, engineers were now open to designing and building with new types of conduit. Now that these engineers needed a substitute conduit, Watson Sales’ phone began ringing with questions about fiberglass conduit.
What happened next was significant. Engineers who had experienced Champion Fiberglass’s high level of service have recommended the product to colleagues. Word spread and jobs that were originally quoted with PVC conduit made the switch to fiberglass.
Projects Utilizing Fiberglass Conduit Grow and Flourish
Watson Sales and Champion Fiberglass also work together to expedite special requests. For example, one job requested color coded conduit so wires could be sorted by voltage. Champion FIberglass provided custom-colored green, blue and yellow conduit for this job that concluded successfully.
Another project required specialty hangers. For a bridge project along the outer banks in North Carolina, a project manager was unsatisfied with existing hangers. Champion Fiberglass stepped in with a hanger product that was durable, easy to install and aesthetically pleasing.
Says Scott Patchan, VP of Sales & Marketing, Champion Fiberglass, “Watson Sales enlists a targeted approach in their sales efforts. They really know our conduit as a product for specialized industries, so they help facilitate real solutions with customers. They’ve succeeded in earning the trust of many engineers and colleagues in their territory.”