November 2019 Newsletter
**** The 4specs Perspective
Are you trying to sell a Prius car in rural south Texas or western Nebraska? or a Ford F-150 King Ranch truck in Manhatten or San Francisco?
Sounds simple, and yet I see marketing and sales of "specified" construction products being directed to the wrong people.
You can start to identify the decision maker by understanding how and when your products' inclusion decisions are made.
Are the product decisions made early in the design process and become the Basis of Design, or are they first included in the specification as a Comparable Product? Are they a typically-included product with multiple competitors or a unique design that brings specific benefits to the owner? Are your BIM objects ones the architect has converted into a generic BIM object for use during design for many projects?
Products such as Bobrick toilet partitions, Monokote fireproofing, 3M fire stopping, JM roofing, ClarkDiedrick studs, Dal Tile, and National Gypsum wallboard are products that are frequently basis of design products. It will take a long and expensive marketing program to architects to become the basis of design in these categories by replacing one of these manufacturers.
Far simpler is to become one of the Comparable Products listed in the specifications. See our newsletter What is Your Marketing Strategy? for more info.
At the Construct Show in Long Beach last year, one sales rep told me his company wanted him to focus on 20 architects in his territory. Quickly he found that 10 used the same independent specifier. You do know what a SCIP member is, don't you? The best way to first meet a specifier like this specifier is at the local CSI chapter dinner and by being active in each chapter.
I estimate there are 800 full-time architectural specifiers in the US, writing about 50% of all project specifications (say over $8 million construction budget per project) and probably more than half of the dollar value by working on larger projects.
I propose it is best to identify these full-time specifiers in each territory for your products and work with them. After getting your products into use in a territory, start to focus on the project architects writing specs and then the general staff with lunch and learns.
Here are my suggestions on finding the spec writers as discussed in an earlier newsletter:
Questions and suggestions are always appreciated.
Publisher - 4specs