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.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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