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BRAND TALK: Using Siding to Increase Dealer Revenues

Chris Mull is market sales manager for Kempsville Building Materials, which is now a division of Ohio-based Carter Lumber Company. Kempsville Building Materials operates seven locations with 250 employees. In business since 1955, the company serves Southeastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina, from the North Carolina Outer Banks to Richmond, Va.

The company is a leading provider of quality building materials for single-/multi-family home building, remodeling and small commercial building. Kempsville Building Materials offers strong customer service and turnkey services, such as framing, and installation for windows, doors, drywall and much more.

Q: How do you determine which products to stock?
A: When it comes to stocking products, the very first question I ask myself is do I believe in this product. We put new products through different backyard tests, and the LP® SmartSide® siding passed all of them.

Q: When did you start stocking LP SmartSide Trim & Siding and why?
A: We have been stocking and selling the LP SmartSide line for 10 years. The ease of installation and handling makes it a dream for the installer.

Q: What do you think makes LP SmartSide treated engineered wood siding more appealing to customers?
A: In my opinion this has been one of the greatest new products to hit the siding industry over the last 20 or so years. The reliability, strength and appearance of the products along with LP’s 5-/50-year limited warranty on them make LP SmartSide siding an easy sell to the builder and homeowner. The product takes paint better than any other competing product in the category. The list of benefits just goes on and on.

Q: How do you help builders and remodelers create siding packages that appeal to their customers?
A: We have one of the nicest showrooms in our market. We put a wall up in our showroom highlighting the different siding products that LP offers. When you can show a customer what the LP product is going to look like on the wall, it is typically a done deal.

Q: What are the key factors that help you gain repeat sales of LP SmartSide siding?
A: I don’t think we have had a builder try LP SmartSide siding for the first time and then go back to what he was using before. The product is that good. The deep rich wood grain gets a lot of attention and the lap siding comes in 16-foot lengths, which really cuts down on butt joints, allowing for more continuous runs. We are in a coastal market, and high winds are always a factor. Having the ability to blind-nail the LP SmartSide strand lap and still get a 150 mph wind rating on the coast is a big deal to our customers.

Q: How do you capitalize on LP’s resources to keep your team current on products and strengthen sales?
A: Most siding companies you deal with offer a local rep to help you sell their product. With LP we have access to a team of professionals, and they are here for us when we need them. At any given time we could have two to three LP representatives in our market helping us drive sales and stay up to date on what’s new.

Q. What type of feedback do you get from your customers on the LP siding products?
A: “It’s a great product” and that sums it all up. The reason I love selling the LP SmartSide line so much is the only phone call I get about the product is “I need to order another house of LP SmartSide siding.”

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