Specifiers are the gatekeepers. If you want to get your building product into a project, you have to go through them.
Winning over specifiers is the key to making the sale. The good news is that it’s not an impossible task. First, you need to understand what specifiers are looking for and design your product listings accordingly.
What Information Do Specifiers Need?
Specifiers are the architects, engineers and contractors who influence project selection and advise the project team. Specifiers select the building materials and apply them to the project. Their influence matters at every stage of the project.
When you propose your product for a project, the first thing a specifier will do is go to your website — so it needs to be in good order.
Your product website should make the specifier’s job easy. The information should be up-to-date and comprehensive. It should also be accessible to the specifier. If needed, provide the specifier with a password and an account.
Architects, engineers and other specifiers want to get to the heart of the problem — and quickly. A specifier at an average-sized firm works on several projects at the same time and is making hundreds of decisions on any given day.
Make sure your website and anyone who has contact with the specifier provides quick and to-the-point answers.
How To Create A Website And Product Listings That Specifiers Will Love
Your website is crucial to the specifier relationship. It should be attractive, easy to navigate, accessible and should load quickly. In addition to these general requirements, a building product manufacturer’s website must include the following elements to help specifiers do their jobs.
1. 3-Part Product Specifications
The 3-part product specifications present the most important information about your products in a concise and easily analyzable form.
They provide three layers of information: general, product and execution. These elements provide a general overview of what the product is and how it works.
You can use Microsoft Word to create a three-part specification or use MasterFormat, a tool created by the Construction Specifications Institute for the same purpose.
Be sure that your specifications are easy to understand. A good rule of thumb is to follow the seven Cs of specification — clear, correct, concise, consistent, complete, comprehensive, coordinated.
2. Catalog Cut Sheets
Catalog cut sheets are another important element. Cut sheets list everything about the product from a general description to applications, physical properties, technical specifications and may include diagrams, illustrations, performance charts or ratings and installation instructions.
Catalog cut sheets are typically PDF documents, which are easy to download and view. Cut sheets combined with the 3-part specifications will give specifiers a complete overview of your product in the shortest amount of time.
3. Revit, ArchiCAD or Other BIM Software Files
Building on information supplied by specifications and cut sheets, these files help specifiers visualize how your product fits into their project. Building Information Modeling (BIM) software programs such as Revit and ArchiCAD create a three-dimensional model of the design of the building and everything in it.
4. Product Testing Certifications
Certifications are necessary for specifiers to recommend your product. Without clear testing certifications, specifiers will not risk recommending your product.
Certifications, or certs as they are sometimes called, vary according to the type of product. Certifying bodies evaluate products at nationally recognized testing labs to ensure they meet qualifications when used correctly.
A recognized testing certificate tells specifiers and consumers that the building product is safe for its intended use.
5. Make Sure Your Website Offers Personal and Technical Assistance
If you have quality products, specifiers will visit your website. If they have questions, be ready to answer them. The contact page of your website should be up-to-date and offer numerous contact options. Responses in any form should be quick and full of useful information.
Any representative from your company who has contact with specifiers must be deeply knowledgeable about your products and well-versed in “specifier-speak.”
How Concora Can Help You Help Specifiers
If you’ve already created a state-of-the-art website, then you’re two steps ahead. If you haven’t, there are platforms that can help you achieve all of the above. For example, the Concora Spec platform works on the building product manufacturer’s website and makes the product specification process run smoothly. To learn more about how Concora can improve your website and drive more specifications, book a 30-minute demo.
Specifiers may seem hard to please, but when you know what they’re looking for, the task becomes easier. By creating a website that makes it simpler for specifiers to do their jobs, you’re also making it easier for them to choose to do business with you.
Written By Candace Shackelford