Blog for Building Materials Companies

Finding the Right Way in Building Materials Sales and Marketing

  |  Posted in Sales, Strategy

Finding the Right Way in Building Materials Sales and Marketing

Many building materials companies assume there is a right way to grow their business. They pursue that single way as if they’re following a rulebook or obeying some imaginary traffic laws.

If they sell commercial building materials, they probably believe that the right way to grow (and maybe the only way) is to call on architects.

If they sell products for residential construction, they probably think calling on homebuilders is the right way.

I’ve helped a lot of companies become more successful by helping them take the blinders off. Once they stop assuming there’s only one right way to grow, they can figure out what is the right way for them.

For companies that are struggling and keep calling on architects, that could mean changing their focus to owners or contractors.

In residential construction, sometimes the right approach is to stop selling to builders and to promote their products through contractors instead.

Many companies also assume that the only right way to sell building products is through field sales calls. But I’ve seen companies be more successful with stronger inside sales.

That includes two companies I worked with who were too small to afford sales reps. They started by selling their expensive and complicated products to inbound leads over the phone or through email. Their goal was to get big enough to be able to add field sales reps and they hired me to help them get there.

Once I evaluated their situation, I made a different recommendation. They didn’t need reps – they needed to double down on what was already working for them.

Other companies do better using their inside sales teams to qualify and nurture leads before turning them over to field reps. They’re helping the reps make better use of their time so they can close more sales in less time.

If you’re struggling to grow, it might be because you’re too focused on the “right” approach and haven’t figured out what approach is right for you. That could mean focusing on a different type of customer or using a more effective message. It could mean selling online or changing your marketing. It could even mean raising your prices.

A “Right For You” Approach Grows Your Business Faster at a Lower Cost.

When you’ve been using a sales force or marketing program for a while, it can be hard to see the alternatives. Instead of trying something different, a lot of companies just try to get better at what they’re already doing.

That can be the right move. If your sales team is getting results, by all means, use them and support them. That’s probably right for you.

But if your sales team is calling on the same customers as your competitors and giving them a similar message, you’re allowing price to be too important.

If that’s the case, you’re not using a Right For You approach. You just think it’s right for you because it worked in the past or it’s working for your competition.

Some companies think this is a no-risk approach, but they’re acting like bankers who prefer lending to someone with a poor record than lending to someone with no credit. They’d rather go with the borrower who has a terrible credit score – at least then they know how big the risk is.

Building materials companies are often the same way. They know their approach could be better, but they choose mediocre results because trying to improve means more uncertainty.

Right For You is Right For Your Customer

One final benefit to taking a Right For You approach is that Right For You is also Right For Your Customer.

If you’re growing your business faster, it’s because you’re getting better at meeting your customers’ needs. Right For You isn’t about being better at selling – it’s about making it easier to sell your product. And the best way to do that is to call on the right customer with the right message.

Remember: There Is No Right Way in Building Materials Sales and Marketing. There is Only Right For You.

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About The Author

I am the leading sales growth consultant in the building materials industry, I identify the blind spots that enable building materials companies to grow their sales and retain more customers.  As I am not an ad agency, my recommendations are focused on your sales growth and not my future income.

My mission is to help building materials companies be the preferred supplier of their customers and to turn those customers into their best salespeople. Contact me to discuss your situation.