Are you the 'only one'?
Do you think that when a professional designer or architect requests information on your product… well… do you think you’re the only one they’re requesting information from?
Do you think because they called or emailed that you’ll get the sale… the commission… the project? That it’s ‘in the bag’?
Do your sales reps think this is the case? Are they waiting for the orders to roll in from your marketing efforts?
Ok, yes, it’s true sometimes – those few times a specific product MUST be part of the project. It is the focal point – the pièce de résistance. It is the essence of the statement of the design and simply MUST be had.
Fortunately or unfortunately, 99% of the rest of the project falls into the ‘to be specified’ list. This is the list of hundreds (or thousands for a hospitality project) of products that are specified entirely on how closely they meet the various needs of the project.
It is the dance that interior designers, architects, facility managers and other professional specifiers engage in daily (sometimes hourly)… specify this product that is over budget by removing that one… move that piece down the wall to accommodate the larger piece by selling the client on the storage space that is doubled.
Rarely, if ever, will you witness or be invited to be part of this elaborate dance – watching the constant balancing and rebalancing of design, quality, style, size, lead time and price – the give and take of products and services that in the end, strive to blend seamlessly to achieve the vision for the space.
Don’t lose site of your market’s daily challenges. And don’t let your sales reps forget them either.
You don’t get the project until you have the order. Designers won’t send you a request for information with a credit card number. Rarely will a call come from your ad with a PO.
These are not consumers you are courting. It could easily take a year or more from introduction to your first order, but these are professionals that represent repetitive orders for years to come. If you treat them that way from the first conversation, your chances at long-term success increase exponentially.