For those of you who participate on LinkedIn and in particular the CSI discussion group you may have noticed a topic that is titled “Four Ways Manufacturers Tick off Specifiers”. There were initially 4
questions posed but based on the comments of the participants a total of 6 questions resulted. They are:
#1. Have a web site that fails to support us doing our job by having information that is out of date, inaccessible or generally irrelevant?
#2. Have a website that requires registration which interferes with us doing our job?
#3. Let go of a “golden rep” that is knowledgeable and has gone above and beyond to make sure we have the information we need to do our job?
#4. Have a rep calling on us who knows less about the product than we do?
#5. Have contact information that doesn’t get me to anyone knowledgeable and responsive in a reasonable time? The nature of our business doesn’t allow a specifier the luxury of waiting a day or two from someone.
#6. All of the above?
The answer to the question is #6: ALL OF THE ABOVE
In order to be specified or acceptable, Architects and Specifiers need and demand fast accurate responsive answers from potential suppliers/manufacturers to questions that they have. All of the above is about “communications: providing answers”. It is not about product details, big, small, wide or thin, whether you have this or not. So we together have to establish a feeling of confidence and dependability in the services that we offer. Some thoughts.
The average Specifier/Architect in a medium size firm makes 15 thousand decisions on every job and may be working on 3 different projects: a total of 45,000 decisions. Therefore be considerate of the Architect’s time. Be brief. Get to the point.
Spend some effort finding out who is working on what in each design professional’s office and if your product is relevant to that project. Talk to the right person if there is an application.
Know what you are selling. You are the expert. Present your product thoroughly, concisely, how it is applicable to that project’s needs and have pertinent cost data on hand.
See to it that the specifier has adequate reference material. Up to date hard copies. An accurate web-site, address and where to go to get what he needs. Custom write a specification (no “standard specification” submittals with every alternative possible contained therein).
Do not oversell. Do not bash the competition. Be fair and factual. Be as graceful in losing as you are humble in winning.
Time your calls to the designing and specifying activity. If the decision makers are working on specifications do not talk about drawings. Get pre-approved. Offer to participate early on in the process.
Establish relationships based on trust and proven performance. And if you are a manager do not start changing representatives based on your needs other than the needs of your customers.
Learn to listen and listen to learn. Say why you are there, make your point, offer to help, summarize, provide what you have promised, and follow up to see if there are any other questions and move on.
Show your interest after you have an order by following up, visit the job site, anticipate and resolve issues before they become disasters.
We are participating in a busy, tense, competitive market. Everyone, manufacturers, representatives, specifiers and architects want more of everything especially time. Moderco will mind the website and make it as accurate, easy to use and up to date as possible.
When calling on and dealing with specifiers and architects it is important that we all be professional, considerate, knowledgeable, helpful & prompt. By doing so it will be a win-win scenario for all.
Comments are welcome through our «Operable Wall Industry Group» on LinkedIn