How Architectural Representatives Get Building Products Specified
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Architectural representatives are professional educators to architects, specifiers, designers, engineers and other design professionals such as LEED professionals. An integral part of their job is building long-term relationships with design professionals that trust them for their honesty, product knowledge and availability to consult about the proper products for their projects.
This job often involves frequent travel, meeting with architects and other members of the design team and attending trade shows, such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Construct (Construction Specifications Institute), GreenBuild (US Green Building Council), and other trade shows where the audience specifies their products.
Architectural reps represent their company’s technology in educational settings such as office visits to specifiers and appropriate design team members, lunch and learn (AIA/ USGBC) presentations, trade show seminars, and anywhere they can influence a decision maker to choose and specify their product on a project. They promote new products with guide specifications, BIM objects, technical data sheets, Health Product Declarations (HPD), LEED information, samples, and Continuing Education courses. They are always prepared to answer questions and when they do not have the answer they always follow up with the information. They are the “go to” professionals for the architects to get information promptly and honestly.
They keep detailed records of every call and the follow up needed. They maintain tickler files of when to call back or get the sales staff involved for quotes or technical information. They know the key specifier or decision maker at the firms they call on. They make appointments in advance, many times with a specific product for a specific project at the correct time. They generate leads for the sales staff and coordinate efforts to hold the spec so competitors don’t get the project. Architectural reps are product consultants and have technical knowledge to tell the architect if their product is right for the project and if not, who to call.
They use contact management programs to record their progress They maintain a professional appearance and listen to what the design professional is saying without interruption. This is a self-starter job and time management and appointment setting are necessary.
The final goal is to ask and get the company’s product added to the firm’s master specification. A firm’s master specification is used to prepare numerous project manuals, meaning the products listed are specified time after time. They also work directly with the project managers to have the products specified on specific projects. Product name recognition is promoted. The design professionals specify friends and professionals they trust so the rep must always be on their mind. The rep is your "eyes and ears" for upcoming projects in the design stage that have great potential for possible specification.
The Architectural Representative is one of the most important positions to specify and educate about the company’s products. They plant the seeds and then the sales staff harvests the fruit.
You can read more about getting specified in the new bestselling book “The Spec Shaman- How to Get Your Building Products Specified” available here.
How does your company get your products specified? What strategies do you employ in 2018?
For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank