When you develop a marketing program or prepare for a sales call with a building product material channel customer, you need to make sure you are talking to their primary motivation.
It’s easy to make assumptions about what motivates a customer. Most customers have several motivations that cause them to act or not act. Each one of them has a primary motivation and you’ll be most effective if you address this in your approach and messaging.
Look over my list. If you don’t agree, develop your own, make sure you follow them and don’t make assumptions about their motivations. Also don’t assume that they are the same or similar. They are not.
Primary Motivations in Commercial Construction
This list is based on my experience and opinion. It may be different with your product and if you are selling to the residential or retrofit markets. The purpose is to get you to stop and really think about the primary motivation of your customer.
The building owner’s primary motivation is that the building performs as he intended. It may perform as an investment, community statement or a long-lasting, low-maintenance facility.
The primary concern of an architect is their reputation. Their next projects largely come from referrals based on previous buildings.
General contractors are concerned primarily about the time value of money. The longer it takes to complete a building, the less profit he makes.
A subcontractor’s primary motivation is the cost of labor, which is one of the only things he can control. If he perceives that his labor will have any trouble installing your product, he will resist using it.
Distributors are focused on their profit margin. Does your product have demand in place? Will it turn? Don’t count on the distributor to create demand that’s your job.
The manufacturer’s motivation is economy of scale, which is how he can most easily increase his margin.
Now step back and think about your situation, map out the primary motivations and then develop a sales and marketing plan.
Thanks for the following comments. I’d like to hear your feedback and suggestions on how to sell architects.
Corporate Account Executive | Distribution Manager | National Accounts| New Business Development
The Dow Chemical Company