How to Hire Fiercely Competitive Building Product Reps

Posted On: 
Nov 27, 2017
How to Hire Fiercely Competitive Building Product Reps

Building product manufacturers need competitive closers in good times and bad times. Many building product reps look good when the economy is good. But when the economy crashes, building product manufacturers quickly discover the underperformers. “The one performance factor that distinguishes the rainmaker from the ordinary sales person is that he or she sells more,” says Jeffrey Fox in his book How to Be a Fierce Competitor. Let’s review traits that help identify a competitive building product rep.

Successful Building Product Rep

Fox identifies competitive sales people as employees who make more sales and generate more revenue in any economic environment. Competitive sales people come from multiple backgrounds, ages, gender, etc. Fox recommends that management not hire sales people based on looks or personality. The boss should hire sales people based on proven performance or potential. Fox lists several traits of successful sales people which we will apply to building product reps.

  • A fiercely competitive building rep knows how much money they made last year, how much business they brought in, where they ranked in the sales force, the names of the biggest projects they were specified on, and any awards they won.
  • The building product rep has a strong work ethic.
  • The building product rep can tell you about their first paid job and how much money they made on that job.
  • A successful manufacturer’s rep is motivated by money and respect from peers.
  • A fiercely competitive product rep is enthusiastic and fearless about visiting architects, contractors, and other design professionals.
  • A successful building product rep sells outcomes, not products.

Successful Building Product Rep Strategies

Fox declares that fiercely competitive sales people are the hallmark of a great company. Let’s examine strategies that a successful product may use to win market share.

  • AIA Continuing Education. In a previous blog, we identified several mistakes that building product reps regarding AIA continuing education. A lousy format like PDF, unprofessional photography, and not reaching specifiers via webinars can sink a product rep’s ship. Successful product reps deliver engaging AIA lunch and learns, offer insightful commentary during the Q&A session, and follow up with architects about any questions they don’t have the answer for.
  • LEED Certification. Successful product reps are familiar with the sustainability or lack of sustainability of their products. Architects hate lies and greenwashing. If your product has hazardous ingredients in it, then they need to be disclosed. A successful product rep is familiar with LEED certification and how their product applies to the LEED v4 system
  • Documentation. 3 Part CSI specifications, Health Product Declarations (HPDs), and LEED Product Documentation are all documents that are necessary today to get specified. Successful building product reps have the necessary tools and resources when they visit an architect’s office.

How does your company identify product reps to hire? What criteria does management use to find highly successful building product reps?

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