Having to compete with a supplier is a tough call, but there are some strategies and you can turn this into your advantage.
- Get in contact with these suppliers, since I assume you want to continue to work with them. Talk to them and offer your services to them, like delivery and installation. Since they are not based where you are they either pay you or have to add a lot of costs and administration to their own business.
- Use your local advantage to the fullest! Whenever a client starts talking to you with a less expensive offer from the supplier, focus on this advantage, like “I’m at your site within 30 minutes, guess how long they will need to get here from PE”. But please be honest and don’t run your suppliers down.
- Own your clients and turn them into raving fans. Send existing clients a newsletter, offer special deals, add whatever you have to offer and do better than anyone else. Highlight this. If clients are fans, they will less likely go with your supplier. Think how Apple owns their customer base
- Get new clients by talking to builders in your area and create a network with other companies to deliver a “one stop shop” experience for your client
Just remember how you would act if you buy stuff: If you’re “just” buying a “thing”, you will go for the bargain. If you have a problem to be solved, you look for the one who makes the pain go away.