3 Ways to Get Your Building Product Specified from Office Visits

Posted On: 
Dec 12, 2017
3 Ways to Get Your Building Product Specified from Office Visits

“A direct presentation to decision makers remains one of the most effective ways to market your product. The interaction between Design Professional and Building Product representative allows for the exchange of ideas and answering of questions,” says Ron Blank, specifications guru and industry leader. Let’s review three types of office visits that can help get products specified.

Introductory Intel-Gathering Visit

Let’s say that you’ve just visited with a Design Professional when you realize that there is another AEC firm across the street. Without an appointment, don’t expect to spend much time with them; spend 5 minutes and use it as an information gathering call. Find out the size of the office and what type of projects they work on. You might briefly review one product per visit, but no more. Ask when would be a good time to schedule a longer presentation.

Building Product Specific Presentation

Make an appointment. Spend 30 minutes; 60 minutes for AIA-accredited presentation (usually a lunch-and-learn). This is a direct presentation to a specific individual or a group of decision makers. Present one product line in depth per visit. Provide literature, guide specifications and samples. Providing a box lunch seminar covers all office personnel with one call.

Product Specification Visit

This is a presentation to decision makers with a specific product for a specific project at the proper time, usually in response to the Design Professional’s request to consult on a specific project. Spend adequate time to satisfy their needs; do not schedule these back-to-back as you have no control over how long they will last. Be the expert; know your product, your industry, and building code requirements.

Building Product Rep Deliverables

The architect requires product information to create drawings and specifications. Building product representatives educate and advise the architect in getting the product specified correctly during office visits. Thousands of products are incorporated into every project. Product costs may be affected by information such as lead times, special field testing, customized orders, or inspections if not brought to the architect’s attention in a timely manner. Reps must have this information readily available.

In addition to assisting the architect with the product decisions, product representatives
can add value to their consulting in other ways. These include providing product guide specifications, cost estimate information, on-site storage recommendations, reference standards and making the architect aware of code requirements. Product reps can also assist with the project drawings which also require technical assistance to verify proper use of the product, ensure accurate incorporation of the correct product in the project, and verify that special conditions are addressed correctly.

Product representatives can provide technical assistance in drawing development in the following ways:

  • Establishing specific material locations and dimensions.
  • Verify that products meet local code requirements.
  • Assist in the detailing the product interface with adjacent building materials.
  • Provide manufacturer’s standard drawings or BIM files for proper product application.

The product information provided during the office visit may contain standard drawing details and product guide specifications, and the product representative may ask to review the drawings for a design professional on a project in the construction documents (CD) stage. This will help the architect become more comfortable with the level of service that can be expected by the rep. This type of technical assistance builds the design professional’s confidence in the product representative and ensures that the proper product information is being submitted.

Product reps can also make the design professional aware of any continuing education opportunities available in many formats. The rep can offer to provide a lunch and learn at the office, usually an AIA, USGBC/GBCI, or IDCEC registered course. Architects get a generic education on the manufacturer’s technology and receive a certificate of completion. The education counts for the AIA or other association’s CE requirements or for state registration requirements. Online courses, webinars and seminar educational events can be discussed.

Call Ron Blank at 800-248-6364 for more information on how to make effective architectural visits.

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank