Most building product manufacturers and suppliers focus on meeting the needs of the builder’s purchasing department. If they stop there, they are missing an opportunity to gain more builder sales, sell more upgrades and increase a builder’s loyalty.
Question for you: are you reaching out to the sales and marketing departments at builders? If the answer is no, you’re missing a key opportunity. Let’s be honest – sometimes purchasing departments get in the way.
And no – I’m not recommending you go around the purchasing department, I’m recommending you go beyond the purchasing department.
Sales and marketing can be your advocate with purchasing – if they believe buying your product will help them sell more homes. They can even convince purchasing that your product is worth more money than the product they currently buy.
I recently surveyed the sales and marketing leaders of 20 homebuilders and here’s what they told me.
1. They appreciate it when manufacturers call on them. They like it when reps start by learning more about the types of homes they build and then show them how their product can help them sell more homes.
2. The thing they want most from manufacturers is training their sales team about your products. They want to know how to show homebuyers why they build a better home because they use your products.
3. They appreciate reps that make them more knowledgeable in the category in addition to their specific products. For example, if you sell windows, teach them about windows in general and not just why your window is better. Education is key.
4. Teach them how to sell upgrades. Most reps promote that the builder will make more money. This is a mistake as builder sales reps are usually paid on the sale of a house, not on an upgrade. What they want to learn is how the upgrade will benefit the homeowner.
5. Builders are way ahead of manufacturers in the use of social media. Builder marketing departments are waiting for manufacturers to embrace social media and work with them to sell more homes. Manufacturer’s social media people should work with builders.
6. Builders are using technology such as tablets and videos to help sell homes. They prefer to work with manufacturers who provide them with content that they can incorporate into their presentations and not just a brochure.
If you really want to be the favorite supplier of a builder’s sales and marketing department, do some market research. Pretend you are buying a house. Shop the builder and their competition. What was your impression of the model homes and the sales process?
Share your insights with the sales and marketing leaders of the builder and you will become a valued partner in their success.
If you only focus on purchasing you are missing a big opportunity in builder sales. Purchasing has shopping lists and is rewarded for lowering costs. Sales and marketing is rewarded for selling more homes.
To learn more, watch my webinar on How to Sell Homebuilders here.