How to Sell to Architects and Designers: Create a Marketing Review Board with Sales Reps and Contractors
Sales reps and contractors are the ultimate intelligence officers that many building material companies overlook when it comes to creating marketing materials or incentive programs. These are the people who create relationships with your customers. They spend all day selling, problem-solving and advising. They are your boots on the ground.
Surprisingly, many manufacturers ignore this goldmine of intelligence when they are creating marketing materials or developing new products. Decisions are often made from the top and then pushed down. To me, that doesn’t make any sense when for most manufacturers, sales reps and contractors stand between them and their customers.
I think creating a sales advisory board is a smart move and here are my top 5 reasons why:
- It allows sales reps and contractors the chance to give input, creating a feeling of ownership not just for the product but for the company as well.
- It generates excitement around the brand. It signals to the world that your company is staying fresh and interested in growth.
- It can help you see the future. Running a company takes focus and discipline. Sometimes we become so involved in the business, we can’t take a step back to look at what is on the industry horizon. Sales advisory boards keep companies plugged in to what’s next.
- It’s a great way to solve issues. The biggest problems are best solved using many minds instead of relying on a single person. Reps and contractors can help your company become more competitive and help solve problems as they arise.
- It’s a good reality check. Good, bad or indifferent, they will tell you the truth.
I once worked with a company that had been bought and sold so many times that it created confusion and mistrust in the market. For the purposes of this story, let’s call this company Acme Co.
Independent contractors acted as the sales force for Acme Co., getting the product out in the residential market.
Contractors had been burned several times by Acme before my client purchased the company and took it over. For example, truckloads of product that were supposed to be delivered to the job site never arrived. Contractors were left facing furious homeowners and disgruntled subs with nothing to do. To add insult to injury, when they called to check up on their orders they were flat out lied to.
I think there really are some entities called Acme. Are there any other generic names that might be suitable? Although it seems even ABC, XYZ or 123 are names of companies now, from what I see just poking around online for a few!
Want to grow your sales by increasing specifications by architects and designers? Click here to download our guide: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GETTING SPECIFIED: HOW ARCHITECTS AND INTERIOR DESIGNERS SPECIFY ARCHITECTURAL PRODUCTS AND BUILDING MATERIALS. If you have a question that hasn’t been answered or would like find out more about how Epiphany can help you get specified, give me a call – 804.377.0106.