Friday, 28 September 2012

Sign-up for our e-letter and you could experience a Red Letter Day!

Everyone needs a break from work - some of us prefer an exhilarating experience, others love to relax and be pampered. Whatever your preference, we all deserve to be re-energised, refreshed or inspired once in a while.

Pinnacle Consulting is pleased to announce that we are teaming up with Red Letter Days to give you the opportunity to experience something different - on your own, or to be enjoyed with that special person in your life.

If you sign up to our “red e-letter” Pin Points, then you might get a surprise this Christmas, as you will automatically be entered into a draw for a £250 Red Letter Day Gift Pack. Take a look at the amazing selection of experiences on offer here.

Pin Points brings the latest building industry news, trends and recruitment advice, for both candidates and employers, direct to your inbox. All you have to do is sign up to Pin Points here, and spend the next few weeks dreaming about the new experience you could win.

If you also need a red letter experience in your professional life, why not call to discuss your career with one of our specialist building industry sales and marketing recruitment consultants on 01480 405225.  Please also have a look at our latest building industry sales jobs on our website.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Building a career in specification sales - Part 3 'The skills needed to succeed'

In the third part of our series on specification sales in the building product sector, Shaun Davies, Technical Consultant at Rockwool UK advises on the skills needed to succeed in specification sales in the building and construction industry.

Pin Board: "What do I need to succeed in specification sales?"

Shaun: "Success in specification sales demands perseverance and certain skills. If you have them, or the capacity to develop them, then you have the ability to develop a career in specification sales in the building and construction industry.

  • Understanding of standards and regulations and the ability to explain them: Impress by applying your knowledge to the issue you are facing; this demonstrates real understanding rather than just theory.
  • In-depth knowledge of your product and your competitors’ product: You need to know exactly what you have to offer and what counter arguments to use to a competitor’s proposition or solution. You should always focus on the benefits that your product will bring and their key differences. It is vital that the advice should always be honest and demonstrate your integrity - you are an industry specialist and need to communicate this by your behaviour.
  • Hard work and perseverance: There is rarely an easy sell in specification selling, so you must be willing to put in the time and effort researching, traveling, meeting and phoning people. If you are not willing to do this then it is unlikely that you will succeed.
  • Practical experience on-site: Although this can only be gained over time, I recommend that you spend as much time on-site seeing and dealing first hand with real issues. This gives you a distinct advantage in your ability to assist the specifier and ultimately develop a favourable view of your product.
  • Ability to communicate: You will be dealing with many different types of people at many different levels and all have different requirements. Some will not want to see you and some will be grateful to see you, but the one common theme is that people’s time is limited and you need to be succinct and clear in your meetings.
  • Provide the information that specifiers need: You should know what information and advice people require; generally, specifiers like architects, engineers, interior designers do not want to talk to salespeople and, when you get the opportunity, you must make the most of it. An architect will need information such as technical reports and assessments. They need to be kept informed of changing regulations and standards, so make sure that they are given copies and are aware of the latest information. The contractor is more likely to need reports, test information, certification, installation guidelines and pricing and availability information. Whereas the sub-contractor is usually open to being made aware of other projects and potential sales, so keep them informed and make sure that you make the most of your time with them. At Rockwool, we want to keep everyone ‘Rockwool friendly’ as we aim to help contractors generally as well as encouraging contractors to use our product.  It is also worth considering providing courses and training offering CPD points to all concerned.
  • Relationship building skills: Although you will see a lot of people, it is normally only for a limited period of time. Therefore it is vital to build a relationship with them on a personal and professional level. Remember that specifiers rarely deal with just one project and you will want to be called upon for future projects.
  • Ask the question and keep your ears and eyes open: There could well be further opportunities for your company or even just for you to demonstrate your specialist knowledge, so don’t be afraid to ask the question on what they are doing in other areas, the rewards could be huge for your company and you might solve a problem and make life much easier for the specifier - which is good news for you in the long run!
"By developing and focusing on these skills and actions, your chances of succeeding in specification sales will be considerably enhanced."

In the penultimate part of our series providing career advice to those in the building product industry, Shaun will be outlining some of the major differences between account field sales roles and specification sales.

Pinnacle Consulting is a specialist recruitment consultancy for the building products sector, if you are interested in developing a career in Specification Sales in the building industry then please contact us to discuss the Specification Sales Job right for you. Call our expert building industry recruitment 
consultants for a discussion on your career on 01480 405225.

The construction industry is the best industry in the world to work for, find out why...

Architect/Engineer image courtesy of Ambro /

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Building a career in specification sales - Part 2 'The Mistakes to Avoid'

In the second part of our series aimed at those thinking of developing a career in specification sales in the building industry, Shaun Davies, Technical Consultant at Rockwool UK advises on the mistakes to avoid making to succeed in the role. 

Read the first part: 'What is Specification Selling" here

Pin Board: "What are the biggest mistakes that you can make in specification selling?"

Shaun: "There are a number of small errors and oversights that can have a huge
impact on your effectiveness in a specification sales role. These include:

  • Not telling the truth: Never lie; it destroys trust in you and in the company that you represent. You could end up costing your company a lot of money as well as your job. If you do not know the answer, consult a colleague who is an expert in that particular field and get back to them with all the information and data they need in a mutually agreed period of time.
  • Misleading or being woolly: This can be as bad as lying, as it shows that you lack knowledge and confidence and this often breaks trust in the future. It can also lead to misunderstanding from the client’s point of view, resulting in a wrong decision being made, based on lack of detail given in your advice. Once again, it is best to inform them only what you are 100% sure of and send the rest at a later date or bring in a member of your specialist team to enhance the sell. You can actually turn a negative into a positive.
  • Not using evidence and practical examples: In any situation it is easier to convince someone that something will work and solve a problem if you can prove that it has worked in a similar situation. As you build your experience you should also build your database of examples to use in your negotiations. Where possible, without breaking any confidentiality clause, back your examples up with photographs, testimonials and data from previous projects.
  • Not following the whole process through: A specification sale can be lost as quickly as it can be won. It is a long-term process and one that you need to keep on top of. You must ensure that you provide the correct information to all involved at the right time – otherwise your hard work can be undone and you could lose the specification. In Design and Build projects the specification is particularly likely to change, whereas it is more stable in a traditional build. The stage I would suggest that you should be most alert is at main contractor render, where the specification can be very vulnerable.
  • Not keeping up to date with changes in regulations and standards: This is a schoolboy error and can destroy the trust and respect that you have developed. You are consulted for your knowledge and it must be up to date and relevant. Avoid putting yourself in a situation where the person you are dealing with knows more than you.
"If you avoid making these errors then you have the right attitude to develop and excel in the role."

In part three Shaun will be letting us know the skills and knowledge you need to possess to succeed in a specification sales job in the building industry.
Pinnacle Consulting is a specialist recruitment consultancy for the building products sector, if you are interested in developing a career in Specification Sales in the building industry then please contact us to discuss the Specification Sales Job right for you. Call our expert building industry recruitment consultants for a discussion on your career on 01480 405225.


Monday, 17 September 2012

Protan UK seeks Business Development Managers across the UK

To help deliver the next 100 million, Protan UK is shifting up a gear. As part of their growth plans they are looking for ambitious Business Development Managers across the country.

The Business Development role will consist of marketing a leading porfolio of roofing systems for commercial building projects, both new build and refurbishment. Selling via specification you will target Architects, Main Contractors, Local Authorities and Specialist Contractors.

Protan UK are a leading Manufacturer of Roofing Systems, who have delivered more than 100 million square metres of PVC Membranes!

Protan require Business Development Managers to join the team across the Country and welcome high calibre applicants from anywhere in the UK.

You will be highly motivated and organised individual with experience of building strong and sustainable relationships within the building envelope sector, from end client to Architects, Main Contractors and Specialist Contractors. A Full UK Driving License, competent IT Skills and the ability to deliver in a target driven sales environment are essential

Final Selection of the successful applicants will follow a one day assessment workshop

For further information or to discuss your career options contact Steve Brennan on 01480 405225.

recruitment for the building product sector

Bathroom Manufacturers' Association appoints new President

The Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) has appointed the CEO of Methven, Steve Lee, as their new President to replace retiring president, Ian Stuart of Aqualisa.

Steve has over 25 years' experience and will be tasked with promoting the BMA as the main voice of the industry in the current difficult climate. The BMA is keen to attract new members and to advance the Water Label scheme.

The Annual Bathroom Conference takes place on 9th October and focuses on the retail challenges facing the industry.

Pinnacle Consulting would like to give Steve our warm welcome and wish him every success during his time a President.

Pinnacle Consulting specialises in offering Bathroom industry sales jobs with manufacturers and distributors within the bathroom industry. Contact us for further information on 01480 405225 or view our website.

Construction industry shows signs of growth

Pin Board is pleased to report that the UK construction industry showed some signs of improvement in July with activity growing by 2.2% according to figures from the Office of National Statistics. 

Although the overall outlook is uncertain the figures do give cause for optimism in the market, especially with moderate further growth predicted for the period until the end of September. However, the sector is still 10.1% down in the year to July, but this is less than anticipated earlier in the year.

The construction industry plays a vital role in overall the health of the UK economy and it is good to report better news -  however small it might be.

Pinnacle Consulting is a specialist construction sales recruitment agency covering the whole of the UK.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Building a career in specification sales - Part 1 'What is Specification Selling?"

Specification selling is now more important than ever for a building product manufacturer. A Specification Sales Job is an exciting and rewarding role that should be considered by anyone looking to develop a sales career in the building product industry.

As the industry continues to focus on sustainability, coupled with the tightening of building regulations, specifiers are beginning to look primarily at product benefits on-site and factors such as lifetime building operating costs and durability rather than just purchase price.

A more expensive and higher quality product can offer greater value – ensuring the correct people are aware of these benefits is the foundation of specification selling. As a result, it will encourage brand loyalty and provide enhanced competitive advantage. Another attractive benefit of specification selling is that it gives the manufacturer control over their own product, rather than the control being with the distributor, although truly effective specification selling will actually improve the manufacturer/distributor relationship and the level of business put through the stockist.

Specification selling requires a different approach and skill set to traditional account sales. In five parts Pin Board, the Pinnacle Consulting Blog, talks to Shaun Davies, Technical Consultant with Rockwool UK, on how he has developed a career in specification sales and what is involved together with his advice on how to succeed and the job satisfaction it can bring.

In the first part Shaun gives us an overview of specification selling and how it works.

Pin Board: "What is specification selling?"

Shaun: "In essence, a specification is a documented advice note informing a contractor which products and materials should be installed, the standards that they should meet and guidance on their installation.

"Specification selling is about influencing the nature of this advice note and then making sure that it matches the attributes of the product you are selling and then working with the specification chain so that your actual product is selected. This requires you to offer the specifier a large amount of readily available and relevant technical information. You will need to be supported by the internal sales office, company website/marketing materials and those involved in testing and product development to succeed. This will help to open dialogue with a specifier and, if you can make their life easier, it is easier to make contact in the future.

"However, it is a huge sales and marketing challenge and can be a very long process, involving many different people who require a variety of messages. Different people will control the specification throughout the process, so you need to ensure you are fully aware of the stage that the project is at and who is in control.

"The specification can be broken at any time and this is why you need to be involved in the project from start to finish. The best form of specification selling is when your product is the only product that ticks all the boxes. In these cases there is no ‘or equivalent’ available for the specifier to select.

"Specification selling requires a great deal of skill and hard work to be effective and to understand what is involved it is useful to know what the process is."

Pin Board: "Who exactly is the specifier?"

Shaun: "A number of people normally contribute to the specification decision that is traditionally made by the Client, Architect or Engineer. However, the people that influence their decisions are just as important, particularly when it comes to brand selection.

"A building project will have a special ‘project team’, which traditionally includes: the Client, Consultant, Architect, Engineer, Quantity Surveyor, Main Contractor and Sub-contractor. Other specialists may also be called upon when required.

"The project contract type will also vary from project to project eg Traditional, Design and Build, Management, etc and may affect your approach.

"As you can see, a specification specialist has a lot to control, understand and influence and on top of this you will normally have multiple projects to deal with."

Pin Board: "What stages does the specification decision process go through?"

Shaun: "The specification process goes through four main stages."
  • The client’s brief – This usually details the functional needs of the building and other details such as overall look and required performance. This stage will drive the products that will eventually be selected.
  • Specialist consultation – In order to define some of the requirements set out in the client’s brief for the building’s performance, specialist consultants in areas such as fire, acoustics, security, HVAC and sustainability, are usually brought in during this stage.
  • Architect’s input – The design of the building will now be developed from the information contained within the client’s brief and the specialist advice from the consultants. It is at this stage when the project gets more detailed and product selection may be indicated –certainly in terms of specification, performance and approvals, etc. Mechanical, electrical and structural engineers are likely to work with the architect during this stage.
  • Appointment of the contractor – It is often the main contractor that is responsible for product selection, although the actual decision is also often made by the sub-contractor (appointed by the main contractor) particularly in terms of brand.

"However, the role of the specification salesperson does not end there, as you will be expected to advise and assist during the installation and construction process, even once your product has been bought and delivered to site. You have control of the project in your hands - don't drop it"

In the next part Shaun will be advising those thinking of getting into specification selling on the common mistakes to avoid making.

If you are interested in developing a career in Specification Sales in the building industry then please contact us to discuss the Specification Sales Job right for you. Call our expert building industry recruitment consultants for a discussion on your career on 01480 405225.

Hand image courtesy of jannoon028 /

PM announces plans to boost UK Housebuilding

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have announced a major housing and planning package that will help deliver:

1. Up to 70.000 new homes, including affordable housing and opportunities for first-time buyers to get onto the housing ladder

2. 140 000 jobs and a boost to the construction sector

3. A £40bn guarantee for major infrastructure projects and £10bn for new homes

This includes a series of measures aimed at supporting businesses, developers and first-time buyers, while slashing unnecessary red tape across the planning system.

The measures include:
  • Removing restrictions on house builders to help unlock 75 000 homes currently stalled due to sites being commercially unviable. Developers who can prove that council’s costly affordable housing requirements make the project unviable will see them removed.
  • New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
  • Up to 15,000 affordable homes and bring 5,000 empty homes back into use using new capital funding of £300m and the infrastructure guarantee
  • An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague’s report to Government on boosting the private rented sector
  • Thousands of big commercial and residential applications to be directed to a major infrastructure fast track and where councils are poor developers can opt to have their decision taken by the Planning Inspectorate.
  • Calling time on poor performing town hall planning departments, putting the worst into ‘special measures’ if they have failed to improve the speed and quality of their work and allowing developers to bypass councils. More applications also will go into a fast track appeal process.
  • 16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280m extension of the successful ‘FirstBuy’ scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.
  • For a time limited period, slashing planning red tape, including sweeping away the rules and bureaucracy that prevent families and businesses from making improvements to their properties, helping tens of thousands of home owners and companies.

The Prime Minister said:

“The measures announced today show this Government is serious about rolling its sleeves up and doing it all it can to kick-start the economy. Some of the proposals are controversial; others have been a long time in coming. But along with our Housing Strategy, they provide a comprehensive plan to unleash one of the biggest homebuilding programmes this country has seen in a generation. That means more investment around the county; more jobs for our people; and more young families able to realise their dreams and get on the housing ladder.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said:

“This is a Coalition Government, determined to get on with the job of delivering a healthier economy. Today’s major boost to housing and planning will make it easier to build a home, easier to buy a first home and easier to extend a home.  A boost that will get Britain building again. Building thousands of affordable homes and generating thousands of new jobs.”

Tough times ahead for the UK Construction Industry

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) has released its figures for August 2012 which show housing activity is at its lowest since the beginning of the year when poor weather was the main factor.

This news is according to figures from the Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI).

The index posted at 49.0 compared to the previous month's 50.9. Commercial activity drops for the first time in two-and-a-half years, with business optimism also falling.

David Noble, CIPS CEO said, "This is dire news for the construction sector which saw its fastest drop in new orders for over three years. Undoubtedly the Government will come under more pressure to help the sector and implement Sir Adrian Montague's proposals to kick-start house building, when it responds later this year.

"Both the decline in commercial activity and the significant drop in new orders are particularly worrying. The commercial sector had previously been propping up the figures and the lack of new contracts suggests things will get worse before they get better.

"Inevitably confidence has also been hit hard, and it has not been recorded as low as it is now, since last October. For good reason too, as it's clear that tough times still lie ahead.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Featured Building Industry Jobs for September 2012

September 2012 - This month we have some fantastic management and field sales opportunities in  LIGHTING, GLASS, CLADDING, WATERPROOFING,  INSULATION, BATHROOM PRODUCTS AND DISTRIBUTION. Take a look to see if any meet your career development plans.

See below for full details of our featured jobs (click 'Read more').

Keep informed of ALL our latest jobs when they become available on our Facebook page. Remember to click LIKE! to ensure you receive all the benefits.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Looking for a new job? Meet us throughout the UK during September

Our network of consultants cover the whole of the UK. If you are looking for a new job, we are holding interviews in the following areas this month:
            • Thursday 13th September - Leeds
            • Tuesday 18th September - Swindon
            • Thursday 20th September - Coventry
            • Thursday 27th September - Warrington

Contact us today and arrange to meet one of our specialist industry consultants. It could be your most important appointment to help you develop your career in the building and construction industry.

Tel: 01480 405225

Check out our latest vacancies of marketing and sales jobs in the building product industry - there might be one we can discuss.