Contact us
Back to blog

2 Ways to Get Better Perspective in Building Materials Sales

2 Nov 2021

When built world companies are facing sales and marketing challenges, it’s often a problem of perspective.

The solution is there. It’s just hard to see it unless you take a bigger view of the problem.

Many companies continue to struggle, however, because they don’t know how to take in the big picture.

I’ve found that there are two very simple but incredibly effective ways to do that.

Two Ways to Get a Better Perspective

  1. Take a Broader Perspective

Companies often get in a jam because they think too narrowly. They think of themselves as selling to a single type of customer instead of an entire market.

You can get a better perspective just by taking that broader look:

  • You’re not selling to builders, you’re selling the new construction market
  • You don’t sell to contractors, you sell to the remodeling market
  • Your target isn’t architects, it’s the commercial new construction market

When you shift your perspective from a type of customer to an entire market, you will open up a lot more solutions. Maybe you’ve been calling on the wrong person. Maybe there are influencers who are undoing your sales efforts. You won’t know until you look at the market as a whole.

Go beyond the customer. Map out all the decision-makers and influencers who are involved in the sale of your type of product. You will probably uncover new opportunities and challenges that you weren’t able to notice before.

  1. Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes

You’re used to thinking about your product and its place in your customer’s business. That’s an important thing to know, of course. But it can also limit your understanding of your customer’s needs.

To get better at selling to your customer, you have to think beyond your product. You even have to think beyond the built world entirely.

What happens in a day in the life of your customer? 

What are their biggest challenges, personally and professionally?

Does the architect worry about making partner?

Does the dealer worry about losing sales to big boxes or Amazon?

Does the contractor worry about attracting and retaining labor?

Given those worries, how important is your product to them? It doesn’t matter how good it is, it’s probably not going to be a high priority.

That means your job isn’t just to tell them about your product or help them select the right one for a project. If you want to really sell them on it, you have to present your product in a way that helps them with their biggest challenges or alleviates their pain points.

You know your product is important to your customer’s success. It’s up to you to help them see that.

The Solution Is Right in Front of You

When a company hires me as a consultant, my first job is to shift their perspective. Usually, the answer to their problem is right in front of them. They just can’t see it.

That’s because they’re used to looking at the little details.

If you’ve been in the built world long enough, this has happened to you. You get so used to thinking about this specific sale, calling up that one customer, or working out the details for the next shipment.

You’re looking at everything so closely, which is good because all those details matter. But if you spend too long squinting at the small stuff, it’s hard for your eyes to readjust. The big picture gets blurry.

Take some time to refocus your perspective. Think about the big picture. Not just your customer, but the entire market. Not just a single project, but how your product fits in your customer’s success story as a whole.

If you can do that, a lot of new solutions will come into sight.