Building Product Specification Do’s and Dont’s

Posted On: 
Mar 5, 2019
Building Product Specification Do’s and Dont’s

That old cliché, “Time is money”, has never been proven false. The more time spent on something, the more necessary a good ROI is. This is true in any industry, even our personal lives. And time is one of the most valuable resources a building product rep has. Time poorly spent leads to empty ambitions. Product reps have a limited amount of time. 24 hours each day. Nobody has more time than another. Productivity all comes down to how a product rep utilizes their time. Time is money.

“Sales efficiency is quantitatively defined as the amount of selling time spent face-to-face with customer decision makers, or phone-to-phone with decision makers if you are a tele-marketer. Effective sales people who spend more time in front of customers sell more. Anything that steals selling time is a theft of organization revenues and usually of sales person compensation,” says Jeffery Fox in his book How to Be a Fierce Competitor. How does this apply to building product reps trying to get products specified?

Getting Specified

In a previous blog, we discussed how building product reps can increase product specification. Being proactive, offering AIA continuing education, and being transparent all build loyalty and trust. It is crucial that product reps are knowledgeable about their products and have a positive attitude when visiting architects and contractors. Here are activities that can help increase product specifications:

•Set monthly sales/specification goals that are realistic but still bold.

•Network and share successful sales tips and strategies with colleagues.

•Offer high-quality and well-ordered marketing materials and internet presence, paying close attention to the aesthetic aspect that will appeal to specifiers who gravitate toward well-designed brands.

•Keep your communication simple and clear, to stand out amongst the sometimes hundreds of manufacturers trying to get specified. One way to be clear is to choose three top things you want a specifier to know about your product and make sure those three things are shared throughout every communication.

•Be proactive with sales leads. Follow up quickly, stay in contact but don’t be overbearing, and be timely in your response to emails and phone calls.

•Be prepared with transparency papers like HPDs. A previous blog discussed reasons why product manufacturers should develop HPDs, and our resource Elixir Environmental can help you prepare your documents when you’re ready.

Not Getting Specified

Don’t let the enemies of product specification sink your ship.

Procrastination, poor use of marketing dollars, and lack of enthusiasm can sink a building product rep. In addition, here are activities that can steal time away from product specification activities:

•Poor prioritization

•Poor goal setting

•Travel time

•Chasing unqualified leads

•Postponed customer meetings

•Doing the job of others

•Useless meetings

•Red tape

•Paperwork not related to sales

Building product reps can be their worst enemy. Long monthly reports and the routine of sending literature and samples to everyone can rob products reps of valuable time. If you are asked to do anything that doesn’t directly or indirectly lead to product specification or sales, then don’t do it. Don’t let the enemies of product specification sink your ship. How does your organization combat the enemies of product specification?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please call Brad Blank at 360-727-3528.