DIY+: The Value of Installers with DIY Products

A recent article I read by Ron Miller on (click here to read) reinforced our recent strategy focus at DOW. In February we unveiled our DIY+ strategy at an open house at our Tampa showroom. DIY+, as you can deduce, refers to do-it-yourself products. The + is the most important part, it represents all that a professional installer brings to the product.  In the connected home, consumers still need, and prefer, professionals to get the most out of every product.

The article recaps an interview of Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman by Andreessen Horowitz partner Scott Weiss at South by Southwest. Kaufman notes that the first issue of connected home products is installation. Many consumers are not comfortable handling the installation of items such as the Nest Learning Thermostat or Lutron lighting control products. There is an opportunity for installers to be profitable selling and installing these products. Professionals have a knowledge and experience advantage over the big box stores whose employees are not likely to be familiar with the installation or operation of these products.

Once these products are installed, the next problem is connecting them to the internet. In the consumer electronics industry we may take it for granted connecting a new product to our home Wi-Fi, but the average consumer is not as adept at navigating these connections. If these products aren’t connected to the internet, they don’t provide the benefits that made the consumer purchase them in the first place. Connecting smart home products is time that adds revenue to your installation.

Connecting the consumer’s new smart home product is just the beginning though. Programming the smart products to work together is another value a professional offers to consumers that want the most from their products. Consumers may have installed a Nest, Lutron Caséta dimmers, and have a universal remote, but that doesn’t make it a smart home. If these products aren’t talking and controlled by a single source, the true benefit is being missed. Owning a universal remote like a Logitech Harmony to only change the channels on a TV is equivalent to using an iPhone to only make and receive calls. For a professional that is familiar with these products the programming is relatively easy and quick. That makes it a very profitable opportunity.

At DOW, we see a lot of potential for our retailers in selling and installing smart home products. Our DIY+ focus is bringing the right products to independent retailers at a time that they can get into the market as it is on the rise. Smart home product adoption is continuing to rise and we intend to help our retailers capture a part of the growth.


Benefits of Using DOW Electronics as Your Distributor

Happy New Year from the DOW Electronics team!

As you are creating your strategy for the new calendar year for sales and the product mix in your store, we want to be sure you understand why DOW is the right choice to help your business grow!

Obviously, we are slightly jaded on this information as we are DOW, but you know that we don’t mess around when it comes down to taking care of our customers, so you can trust that we are giving you the low-down on these issues to ensure you experience long-term success and profitability.  So what makes DOW different…. How are we head and shoulders above any other option? 

  • Quick and Easy Start Up – Many other options require buying many pieces, whether all at once or over a short period of time, to fulfill buy-in requirements. The issue here is you are kind of guessing at what might sell, what might be popular, or how successful you might be in marketing a new technology or device to your customers. Going through DOW allows you to buy as you need product, basically replenishing your stock as you sell down, which is a huge advantage in keeping overhead costs lower and streamlining your inventory.
  • Line requirements – Some require you carry certain products to be able to get other products. Specific head-units must be bought to be able to carry other head units, or some quantity of a product must be purchased to acquire another product. Not so through DOW. A good distributor is a business partner, and a good business partner allows you to customize your stock to your needs. You can pick and choose what you need and when you need it, on all of our lines.
  • Great Pricing All the Time – Don’t believe the hype when it comes to purchasing a large quantity of a product or signing a contract for quarterly or annual product buy-in commitments. These discounts can disappear quickly over a short period of time when the product is sitting on your shelf, and can actually cost you money long-term if you aren’t buying enough to fulfill the contract. A good distributor, like DOW Electronics, offers you the lowest price without any of these requirements or long-term commitments, while providing you with ample product availability and fast shipping to get you the product as you need it.
  • Technical support or other incentives – No one else can offer so many options for technical support for retailers.  The relationships we have cultibvated with our premier manufacturers gives you concierge-level technical and product support whether you buy 1 or 100 of their products. In addition, the DOW outside and inside sales and support teams are the only 12 Volt dedicated team that features MECP Certified Technicians, including a Master Installation Technician. What does this mean to you? It means that we don’t simply hand you off to someone else for support – we are yet another support avenue for you when it comes to needing an answer quickly, and that we absolutely know our products well and can guide you through product compatibility and vehicle installation issues at any time.

So as you are ramping up your plans for 2014, make sure you are making smart product buying decisions and choosing the right business partners so you end this year profitably! DOW Electronics wants you to have HUGE success this year!

DOW Electronics’ Employee Spotlight

In this week’s DOW Electronics’ Employee Spotlight, get to know Cheryl Butler and Don Haas from our DOW Electronics’ Tampa Team. See what they have to say…


Cheryl Butler, Inside Sales Representative, Tampa, FL


How long have you worked at DOW Electronics? Almost 2 wonderful years

What is your favorite part about working at DOW Electronics? The interaction with my retailers and co-workers. I also enjoy the paycheck.

 What do you miss most about being a kid? NO STRESS and no grey hair popping through. LOL

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Losing the football pool to Drew Fischer (DOW Electronics Director of Strategic Sales)! UGH!!! 

If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Xena the warrior princess. That’s right, I said it. No regrets!

What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received? Best gift would have to be when I swam with the dolphins at Discovery Cove. There is no such thing as a bad gift!!

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? 2004, to spend time with my mom.

What is your favorite sports team? It’s a BUCS life for me!! Definitely cannot stand the EAGLES!!! (cough, cough Issay(DOW Electronics Marketing Representative))

What are some of your favorite things to do? I like to bake with my son and then we like to eat what we bake. J I also like to read when I have time.


Don Haas, Inside Sales Representative, Tampa, FL


How long have you worked at DOW Electronics? 18 years

What is your favorite part about working at DOW Electronics? The great people here at Dow and the neat friends I’ve made making phone calls for 18 years.

What are some of your favorite things to do? Hang out with my kids/grandkids/wife and go to the beach, read, andrelax.

If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Dirk Pitt in the Clive Cussler novels.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given/received? My parents gave me a 1962 Valiant-that’s a car for all you young folks……

If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint? Off the coast of California-the whales rolling in the Pacific Ocean.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been? Holy Land-but I’m going in May of 2014.

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? 1962-I’d like to do better on my driver’s license exam.

What is your favorite sports team? Florida State anything

How To Deal With Sales and Introversion

Check out this week’s blog post on Sales and Introversion by DOW Electronics’ very own Training Manager,Keith Shoup.

A recent article in Entrepreneur magazine1 brought together two themes that, to most, would seem like oil and water – sales and introversion.  On their face, they may seem like complete opposites.  However, the truth is that there are some very successful salespeople who are introverted by nature.  Generally speaking, sales is an extroverted activity.  So, how is it that they can occupy the same space at the same time?

In my travels, I’ve met with retailers and sales staff who struggled to some degree with introversion.  I’d watch potential shoppers walk through their doors and they wouldn’t get as much as a hello until they came to the counter to ask a question.  I must say, I’m not the type that likes to be hounded when I first walk through the doors of a business establishment, but it’s nice, at a minimum, to be acknowledged – especially when you’re about to give them your hard-earned money.

In the end, it’s difficult to make a customer want to do business with you if you can’t make them feel comfortable and, ultimately, interact with them.  I understand this level of introversion may be an extreme case, but they’re out there, even among salespeople I’ve personally met.  If you find yourself in the sales and introversion arenas at the same time, please read on.

The name of the article I alluded to at the beginning is titled, “9 Proven Sales Tips for Introverts.”  I’ve selected five tips which I feel are great starts to help step out of your comfort zone.  These have been taken directly from the article and represent the views of the author:


  1. Say hello to everyone you pass. I refuse to walk past any person without acknowledging him or her. I force myself to look everyone in the eyes and say hello. This builds a muscle enabling me to decide at will when I want to be extroverted, whether in a sales call or other situation.


  1. Get passionate. I become so excited about what I’m selling that I have to share it with the world. Becoming passionate about your product or service makes you less interested in how you are perceived and more concerned about showing excitement about what you have to offer.


  1. Be so persistent you get criticized for it. In life and in business, especially sales, you won’t become successful if you never get criticized. Follow up on customers so much that they actually complain about it, and once they do, keep following up until they admire you for your persistence. If you believe in your product, company and yourself, then you will be willing to insist—and risk being criticized for it.


  1. Force yourself to be in public. Step out of your home and office often so you can socialize with people. When I move to a new city, I will go to the same place over and over until I am comfortable and know everyone there. I have done this same thing with my children, bringing them to the same grocery store every morning until they could talk to the people working there as family.


  1. Do one thing a day that you fear. It’s very important for me [to] do the things that make me most uncomfortable. You need to be courageous and make a point of facing your fears, no matter how big or small. The single scariest thing for me was visiting my customers or prospects in person. So that is exactly what I did first thing every day to get over my fear. It instilled courage in me, belief in myself and changed my focus from limitations to possibilities.


For some introverts, telling them to do these five things might as well be the equivalent of recommending a climb to the peak of Mt. Everest.  May I suggest tackling these five tips individually and implementing them over a period of time?  When you feel like you’ve mastered one, move on to the next one.  As you move outside your comfort zone and flex those ‘extrovert’ muscles through the tips provided, you’ll come to see them as a resource that can be leaned upon when required.

It all comes down to managing the introversion, and not letting it manage you.  It’s a shame to see when introversion gets in the way of making sales, growing a business, and fulfilling life and professional goals.  If you’re interested in reading the entire article, and I recommend you do, please click on the following link.


If you have any comments or suggestions on how you’ve been able to put introversion in check, please drop a line in the comments section.





1  Cardone, Grant. “9 Proven Sales Tips for Introverts.” Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur Media, Inc., 02 Jan. 2013. Web. 06 Nov. 2013.

DOW Electronics’ Employee Spotlight

Want to know more about our DOW Electronics Family? Get to know Malissa Sanders and Ryan Travis from our DOW Electronics Charlotte Branch in this week’s DOW Electronics Employee Spotlight.

Malissa Sanders, Area Business Manager, Charlotte, NC


How long have you worked at DOW Electronics: 24 years in December

What is your favorite part about working at DOW Electronics: Customer interaction

What are some of your favorite things to do: Reading and shopping

If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint: A mountain in Hawaii, on the side of the mountain there would be beautiful greenery and all types of flowers in all colors with a waterfall cascading over the greenery.

If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose: A Transformer

What is your favorite sports team: San Francisco 49ers

Who is your favorite musical entertainer:  Marvin Gaye and The Eagles

What is your favorite movie: The Bourne Supremacy

What was the first thing you bought with your own money: A white1982 Mazda 626

What is one thing you have done that was really scary: Moving from SC to Boston, MA

What is your dream car: BMW X6


Ryan Travis, Area Sales Representative, Charlotte, NC



How long have you worked at DOW Electronics: It will be one full year at the end of November.

What is your favorite part about working at DOW Electronics: My favorite part about working for DOW is the great management, coworkers, and retailers that I have the pleasure of working with on a daily basis.

What are some of your favorite things to do: Watching football, going to local car shows, singing, and hanging out with family and friends.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet: Peyton Manning,  I have been a fan of his since he was at the University of Tennessee. A first class individual!

What is your favorite sports team: Of course the Carolina Panthers! Been a fan since the beginning!

Who is your favorite musical entertainer: Journey              

What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received: Received an all-expenses paid trip to Vegas!

What is one thing you have done that was really scary: Riding in racecars around a track course reaching speeds of over 200mph.  Not really that scary just an adrenaline rush.  I would love to do it again.

What is your dream car: I actually own my dream car it’s a Ford Mustang.  I saved all my money since the 5th grade to buy one as my first car.

What is your favorite food: Any type of Mexican food!

A Second Chance At A First Impression

Owning a 12-Volt Retail Facility is more than just hanging your sign up on a random building and customers instantly pouring in to buy product. There are thousands of consumer habit and buying surveys, tools you can use to measure customer retention and satisfaction, and there are numerous trainings you can attend to try to improve your realization of a successful shop through higher sales and more aggressive marketing.

However, none of those things will benefit your business unless your core is strong – and your core is being an expert in your field in an environment that is conducive to consumer confidence and demonstration.

Let’s focus on one quick and easy thing – how ‘in-the-know’ are you with current and upcoming vehicle technology and features? Knowing what could visit your bay in the next 12-18 months is a key advantage most shops don’t pay attention to. Pick up the latest Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and Consumer Reports magazines to get breakdowns on vehicle features, real-world feature acceptance and feedback, and input on features or comforts a vehicle may be missing that your shop can provide for drivers of these vehicles.

Think about it – much of the leg work has already been done for you! These references will tell you which cars don’t have Bluetooth™, heated seats, or navigation systems, all of which you can suggest to the consumer when they arrive. Go one step further and make a list of the ‘Best Buy’ rated vehicles in Consumer Reports, and have 3-4 options for upgrades for each, and be sure your staff knows the integration options for each very well. Do you homework and put together a package of the parts so you can offer a ‘package price’ to consumers who simply come in desiring a feature, rather than getting into some of the more complicated discussions of options that turn some customers off.

This is just one example of doing a bit of homework up front that can reap rewards when the customer arrives at your facility. Your expertise in the subject is magnified significantly because there is no bumbling around on the Internet trying to find out what you can do, and no puzzled looks when they rattle off something that they want.

Next on the list – leave your shop at the end of the day, and come back the next day not as the owner or as an employee, but as a customer. Take a look around your parking lot – does it look safe and clean? Look at your signage – is it clearly visible from the road, up-to-date, and fresh looking? A dirty parking lot, or one that has weeds and other debris in or around it doesn’t entice a customer to park their new, or newly modified, vehicle there. Dirty, missing, or faded signage, or just a sticker on the door, makes it too hard for the customer to find you, and doesn’t give an impression that you care about your business enough to update it and stay up with the times.

Take a walk in the door and look around – is your showroom floor a mess? Are your product displays confusing, or missing components? Does everything on the display board work? Keep in mind that these displays give an impression of how the product may end up being installed in their vehicle. If your displays are dirty, customers will expect you will leave their car dirty. If your displays are not working, what can they expect for long-term reliability from your products or your installation? If your displays are confusing or just randomly placed around the showroom, what does that say about your installation planning or organizational skills?

Walk into your bay(s) and look around. Would you, assuming you don’t work there, send your wife or mother to this shop to get her vehicle worked on? Would she feel confident in the technicians treating her with respect, and that the vehicle would be finished on time and that her property is in good hands? Is it clean and neatly organized? Remember that your installation bays are not just a means-to-an-end to getting the product in the car. They can actually be part of your sales process too if they are neat, and your guys are treating every car with the utmost care.

Keep in mind that once a month you should do an evaluation of your facility – how does it look, are you representing well to the customer, and are you delivering and exceeding the expectations of your customers? Make it easy and comfortable to do business with you, and you will experience great success!

Preparing Your Business to Advertise DISH in a Kiosk

Are you interested in advertising DISH at a kiosk in your local mall or shopping center? If the answer is yes, take a moment to review DOW Electronics’ Co-Op Kiosk Training Video.

This training video will help ensure that your kiosk is both pre-approved and co-op claim ready!

DOW Electronics Kit Crew Video

Want to know how the quarterly DISH kit gets from DOW Electronics to you?  Get an inside look at our kit crew, which shows how we assemble each and every kit!

Successful Door-To-Door Sales

Summer and fall months are a prime time to utilize door-to-door sales tactics.  The weather is nicer, there are more daylight hours and households are more likely to stay up later, giving you the opportunity to present your sales case.  Additionally, you have the ability to meet your customer face-to-face, demonstrate your product and its advantages, and the added benefit of creating face recognition.   However, just like any sales tactic, there are many things to take into consideration and prepare for prior to getting started, and we’re here to help you put your best foot forward before you start ringing doorbells.


Door-to-door sales can easily be compared to those dreaded public speaking classes you took in school.  But, preparation and practice are all you need to have the confidence to sell.  First, know your product inside and out, and how it compares to other like products on the market.  This will ensure that you will have answers to any questions, and lets your potential customer see that you are the expert, thus giving them the trust they need to purchase from you.  Additionally, you will be prepared for any bumps in the road and any unforeseen instances that occur.  Second, practice, practice, practice!  The more you know exactly how you will approach a customer, the easier and less stressful your sales pitch will be for you.  It may be easiest to practice in front of a mirror, that way you can see how you appear to your potential customer, and change points in your pitch that may not come across like you hoped.  The combination of preparing yourself ahead of time and practice will give you all the confidence you need to successfully sell.


…and, I mean this in more than one way.  In advance, think about the time you will start knocking on doors.  Monday mornings are more than likely not the best option, as people may be on their way to work, dropping kids off at daycare or running errands leftover from the weekend.  Try researching the neighborhood ahead of time, and note which homes have cars, and seeing who may be home during the day versus at night.  Additionally, think about this as an opportunity to set a future appointment instead of selling.  This will do two things: you will be able to prepare a meeting with the customer, and know that they are more than just a cold lead, as well as relieve the customer of any pressure of making a decision on the spot.  It will also make you look very courteous, with the customer knowing that you were mindful of their time.

Another thing to think about regarding time: how much time you need to spend with each household in order to meet your sales goals.  Whether you want to make one sale a week or day, knowing how many houses you need to reach each day will give you a realistic target and will teach you how to manage your time with each home.


When getting started, it is possible that the first 25 to 50 homes will include a lot of trial and error.  That’s okay!  However, make note of what works and what doesn’t, so you can change your game plan for future sales opportunities.  Just remember to sell confidently and be flexible with your plans, and you can expect success to come along.

What are your door-to door tips and tricks of the trade?  What do you suggest for first-timers?  Comment below so we can help everyone out with their sales plan!


For this week’s post, we are highlighting two of our very own DOW Electronics employees, Mitch Wyatt and Craig Parrot.  Read on to get the inside scoop on these Area Sales Representatives.

Mitch Wyatt, Area Sales Representative, Greensboro


Years at DOW Electronics: 3

Favorite part about working at DOW Electronics: My favorite part is getting the opportunity to work with our dealers to help them improve and grow their business.  It is very rewarding when you see them succeed.

What are some of your favorite things to do: Run/Workout, go to the beach, watch/play sports of any kind, and spend time with my wife and friends

Favorite Sports Team: UNC Tarheels

Favorite Food: Spaghetti

Dream Car: Range Rover Sport

Favorite Movie: It’s a tie between Anchorman and Old School

What activities did you enjoy in high school: Playing football and basketball, and attempting to talk to girls.

If you could re-experience one thing in your life, what would that be: I would relive my four years of college again.  Maybe stretch it out to five this time around.

What is one thing you’ve done that was really scary: Cliff diving in Jamaica.

Craig Parrot, Area Sales Representative, Tampa


Years at DOW Electronics: 15

Favorite Part about working at DOW Electronics: Besides working with great people both inside and out, I particularly enjoy watching my Retailers succeed with their business. I have always had the utmost respect for my Retailers, as they are the ones who carry the weight on their backs and carry all the risks associated with self-employment.  When they find success making these sacrifices, I always look forward to my next visit.

First Job: Crew Member at Arby’s

What are some of you favorite things to do: I enjoy playing sand volleyball, watching or listening to Tampa Bay Rays games, and cooking.

Favorite Sports Team: Tampa Bay Rays and the Buffalo Bills

Favorite Movie: The Butterfly Effect

Dream Car: Buick Grand National

Favorite Food: Anything Spanish

What activities did you enjoy in high school: Wrestling and Intramural sports

If you could re-experience one thing in your life, what would that be: Moving to Florida in 1998.  It was an exhilarating time in my life when I had the opportunity to make new friends, create new experiences and discover who I really was.