For Pros Only :: The Home Depot FIRST for Pro Program (Part 3)
“I would say that 60% of the people that shop like you typically do, who come in and pick up this and that, don’t know even know the value of what they could find here.”
The above is a quote from Bill Krum, a pro account representative for The Home Depot. The “here” he is referring to is the Pro Desk.
Bill said the above, in response to my description of how I use our local Home Depot. Something of a hardware convenience store, hurriedly ducking in to buy all of the extras for a job in progress. I had told Bill and Ed Wade (my local HD Store Manager) that many times I had noticed the activity surrounding the Pro Desk. But in the past, I was reluctant to stop. I felt that learning about what they had to offer would take too much time.
In the first installment of this series, I discussed some of my prejudices against the big box home centers. It is these prejudices, coupled with how I’ve allowed them to guide my actions. They blinded me to a potentially valuable resource for my business.
Home Depot’s Pro Desk
Yes, with my general approach to shopping at The Home Depot, a stop at the Pro Desk would take too much time. I generally go there and leave in a hurry. Through this discussion with Bill & Ed and Don McCourt (the Regional Manager for my area), I learned that if I invested some time up front, they could assist me with their vast knowledge of the store and with programs designed especially with the pro contractor (me) in mind.
And so, I wanted to begin this final installment on the Home Depot FIRST for Pro program by stating that this visit to my local store. I finally invested some time and it opened my eyes to something. In business, one can never afford to ignore potential allies. For the good of the organization, it is important to constantly re-evaluate our own personal prejudices.
The Pro Desk at The Home Depot can be utilized to purchase a whole range of products that you will never see represented in the store. Solar panels are one such item, but the trio mentioned many others. I asked whether The Home Depot had road reps who could visit a job site. They could help to identify products or help with the estimating of larger quantities. I was told that yes. My pro account representative (an HD Pro Rep assigned especially to handle my business) could schedule a job visit. If needed, I could call upon a vendor or brand rep to be at the meeting as well.
As Ed Wade put it: “The Home Depot is always evolving. We change for a customer. We can accommodate your needs. We’re not set in stone, and that is the only way we do it.”
History and The Home Depot at Large
I mentioned that Don McCourt, the Regional Manager for my area had joined us for the second half of my visit. With his arrival, the conversation turned to The Home Depot at large. I asked about how each Home Depot Store was laid out. The building footprint often dictated where you find certain items in the store. But also, sometimes stores were laid out according to the year they were built. Regional shopping patterns also come into play making some departments larger in different parts of the country than others. The Manhattan stores are apparently something to see. They are multi-level. All large building materials, like wood and drywall, are housed off site in a warehouse. In the Big Apple, you place your order for that stuff and it is delivered to you the next day.
We also spent a good deal of time talking about what my perceptions of The Home Depot had been over the years. The three listened intently to what I had to say and I was as honest as I could be. It seemed to me that listening to customers is a very high priority.
Our meeting was about 75 minutes long so there is much that I have left out, but I hope I have successfully delivered many of the highlights of the Home Depot First for Pro program and maybe sparked your interest in visiting the Pro Desk at your local store if you have not already done so.
I would like to thank Bill, Ed and Don for taking time out to talk to me, and to listen. I enjoyed the visit and hope that you did too. ~b
— To read more from this Series ::
- A Standard of Customer Service
- Volume Pricing, Commercial Credit & Pro Paint Rewards . . .
- F.I.R.S.T. & the First Phone
The Home Depot‘s FIRST for Pro program
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 addresses pro contractors’ biggest needs. By 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 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.