The Home Depot FIRST for Pro Program … Part 1
I visited our local Home Depot in Lewes, Delaware and met with Pro Account Representative, Bill Krum to learn about the Home Depot FIRST for Pro Program. Bill is friendly and easy going guy, with a great working knowledge of what Home Depot has to offer the professional contractor. I had noticed a steady increase in activity around our local store’s Pro Desk over time, so I asked Bill if the Pro Program was changing?
Bill told me that the Pro Program has been evolving over the last 8 or 9 years. About 7 years ago, at our store, they built the pro desk and put the staffing in place to start building relationships with local contractors.
“These folks that work at this desk try to build that same type of relationship that you have with your lumberyard, or your plumbing supplier, or electrical supplier, so that we become an integral part of your business instead of just someone who works in a department at The Home Depot, who helps you pull stuff off the shelf.” Bill said.
We discussed the stores Volume Pricing Program in which a customer (no need to present any proof you are a pro) can visit the pro desk, and spend a total of $2500.00 across all the stores departments to become eligible for discounts. That initial $2500.00, or more, purchase is entered as a ticket and for seven days one could add to that ticket receiving any available discounts on additions to the ticket. Neither Bill, nor The Home Depot website offered a percentage of discount so I imagine it is calculated differently for each item depending on what it costs them.
This is an interesting alternative to buying from a local lumberyard which in my case offers a flat five percent discount for timely payment. The Home Depot stocks a lot more than a lumberyard so some serious advanced planning on even a small to medium-sized project could potentially pay off in savings. The seven days is a nice buffer period for items you may have forgotten and two or more projects could be supplied under one ticket.
Bill mentioned The Home Depot‘s two commercial credit cards. One is a thirty-day-pay card which is similar to a House Account to be paid off each month. The other is a revolving card where you can make the minimum payments. Bill pointed out that these cards can help you build your business’ credit history.
I learned about the Pro Paint Rewards program as well, Once you have signed up, any time you buy a Glidden, Behr, Zinsser or Kilz product in quarts or gallons, and mention you are a Pro Paint Rewards customer at the register, you will receive discounts. The depth of the discount is linked directly to how much you have purchased and can build up to as much as 20% percent off.
Ed Wade, the store manager joined us, and the conversation turned to the training of The Home Depot Floor Staff. Ed told me that they are always trying to hire professional people to work in the stores and that associates are required to have a certain amount of training before they ever hit the floor. Then after an allotted amount of time staffers are required to be trained in their sister department as well. He says, “So if you’re in hardware and you are right next to plumbing then you would be required to train in plumbing as well.”
Bill mentioned that Vendor Supports teams visit the store and give Product Knowledge classes to employees. “They’re a wealth of knowledge for us.”
Ed explained that The Home Depot has had enormous success hiring retirees like Skip, and that everyone learns from these folks and their years of experience. “The more knowledge that is in the building, the more a customer, like yourself, will start to notice.” Bill added.
In an upcoming post, I’ll continue this visit with Bill and Ed and we will be joined by Don McCourt, the district manager for my area. We’ll learn what the acronym F.I.R.S.T. Stands for in “FIRST for Pro” and more about the program itself.
$50 Gift Card Giveaway
A comment to this post will enter you for a chance to win a $50 Home Depot Gift Card. The winner will be selected by random and announced in Part 2 of this post, scheduled for Monday, June 25th. Luck!
This post is part of series focusing on The Home Depot‘s FIRST for Pro program. With it, Barry got a behind the scenes look at their suite of pro services. These posts track a recent visit to his local Home Depot in Lewes, Delaware.
The Home Depot‘s FIRST for Pro services program is meant to address pro contractors’ biggest needs – understanding what they do, getting them in and out quickly and giving them the best possible price. Highlights of the program include:
- FIRST for Pro Power Hours featuring extra staff on the floor during the morning rush, including dedicated loaders, to get Pro customers in and out fast.
- To make Pro shopping even quicker, the program offers two-hour pickup – call in an order and The Home Depot will have it ready to go within two hours.
- If you can’t make it to the store, the FIRST for Pro program can arrange free on-site delivery for paint and appliance shipments via Pro Direct, or even help coordinate large shipments directly from the vendor.
- Where permitted, The Home Depot offers FIRST for Pro dedicated parking areas close to the store.
- Dedicated Pro associates at The Home Depot are designated to deliver outstanding customer service.
To find out more, check back for future posts in the series or visit Homedepot.com/Pro – The Place for Pros.
Disclosure Statement - The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their FIRST for Pro program. As part of this promotion, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about products. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
The winner of this giveaway will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.
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