Getting Specified and Still losing the sale.
The ultimate goal for building product manufacturers that work with Architects is to get their products specified on construction projects.
This can be accomplished by getting listed in all of the industry’s master specification systems like SimpleSpecs™ or working directly with design professionals to get specified using CSI 3 part specifications.
I’ve worked for a manufacturer many moons ago as an architectural representative, and I know this journey well.
Countless hours are spent attending webinars, trade shows, and listening to experts, followed by hundreds, if not thousands, of calls each year to support that goal.
The specification process takes time to learn. Once you’ve developed an understanding of how the process works, getting specified on projects becomes a whole lot easier.
The more time you spend on getting specified, you’ll eventually start to question how to get a return on investment and increase sales of your products.
How do we get a return on investment? Can we turn specifications into a sale?
As you first start, it’s natural to think it is all about getting specified.
The more specifications you create, the more opportunities to increase sales. It seems logical until specifications don’t increase sales. So manufacturers start to question the process.
Is a specification equal to a sale? The answer is no. It’s the start of your journey.
After building three specification departments, I’ve learned that building product manufacturers are happy with specification rates as a metric in year one. After that, sales need to increase year over year moving forward.
So to help you turn specifications into a sale, consider the following:
– Learn how to write CSI 3 part specifications.
– Learn how to read specifications and Division 01.
– Understand the product substitution process on each project.
– Follow specifications through to the bidding process.
– Create an estimating department that understands how to read specifications and your products.
– Maintain a list of contractors that install your products and competitors’ products. This is your hit list to increase sales.
– Identify and maintain a list of architects that specify your products and track their projects. Call them on each project to help with product questions.
– Follow the specifications through into the bidding process and down to the awarded installation contractor. You’ll need to ask for an order.
If you’re getting specified and haven’t seen a year-over-year sales increase, I would check your process. You’ll often find an infrastructure that doesn’t support transforming specifications into a sale.
When you’ve created a base of specifications, your next skill to learn and master is the art of substitutions.