Warning: LONG POST
I'm a Harman/Revel dealer and do work all over the country, even internationally. 13 years and I have built a great referral and client base. If I get a referral or request out of my market, I'm not passing that on to another dealer. Why would I? Why would Harman require me to?
Think of the other side of it. True story...
One time, 5 years ago, I passed on - at a manufacturer's request - a referral for a job I had already sold and engineered. The company had at local dealer they wanted to support. This project was for around $23k in BG Radia speakers and then everything else to make it happen. Great project with a full theater and many zones of dist audio.They asked me to pass the project - again, that I was referred to do, engineered and sold (client asked for invoice to pay) - to their local dealer in Houston because it was in his market. I did so. I called to follow up 4 months later on how the home owner liked BG. Whelp... the local guy sold him a grossly inferior product, Episode, instead. The dealer did this because he made way more $$$$ doing so. I called BG and told them of this and they were astonished and upset. I told them I would never pass on another referral and they agreed and allowed me to work out of market and drop ship.
I appreciate that Harman will drop ship for me. It saves a ton on freight and hauling stuff around. It also allows me to work referral business off of my work and reputation with my clients. That is much much different than having a static website with a shopping cart, etc. which snipes deals from local guys.
I really don't care if people sell into my market the same way, either. My job is my job to do. That dealer's job is theirs to do. I am not helping them feed their family, and vice versa. If one of us does it better, so be it. I'm not going to cry over it. I'll just work to do better. Likewise, if I run my business well enough, buy enough, etc. to offer a better price... why wouldn't I leverage that to do so? That is business.
^ A dealer reaching out of market to cultivate a following/referral base, grow it, and work should be celebrated in our industry and not looked upon like a website would be. That is a lot different than having a website with a shopping cart and requires effort and time. I don't PM guys on here sniffing for sales, but guys have reached out to me and I help if I can - very very little of my business comes from that. I don't PM people first unless they ask a specific question and I do 't want to derail their thread topic. Because PMing first, to me, would make my posts and advice disingenuous as then I would only be posting to sell, but under the guise of advising - wolf in sheeps clothing, so to speak. Prestige Audio isn't even the name of my business, nor is my name on here anywhere to advertise. If I can help guys, I do it. A lot if sharks on these forums swimming around trying to be friendly, but are really just looking to get a bite.
It's 2019 and I appreciate Harman working with dealers on freight. My job is to find a client, help them honestly with the best pricing I can, and then keep them for life... or don't... and risk losing them to another company or brand. That is business in 2019. The world has shrunk and thus, territories have shrunk.
^ Sorry for the novel.