Is it a bird, is it a plane…? No it is a specification sales advisor.

The construction sector has a complex Decision Making Unit (DMU) providing a challenge for those selling building products. The answer is to empower your team to sell on benefits and not on price alone. In this blog we review how implementing a specification selling process can empower your team and enable them to become sales superheros, the Trusted Advisor to the specifier.

Very often the message coming back from the sales team is that “our prices are too high”, but is this questioned enough? Market research often shows that customers only buy on price when they have no other comparisons, to quote a leading property developer “We do not go to the market looking for lowest price. There are other factors to consider….it’s really quality that’s the most important thing.”

In reality, a customer often uses the explanation that price was too high as a simple way of closing the conversation, although other more complex causes may be the real explanation.

Quality is a benefit, and the important thing is to present sufficient relevant benefits to justify the price. Other benefits are speed of installation, local production, installation training and support, to name a few.

Knowledge is power

Educate your team to understand the construction sector, to know its history and why it is the way it is today. Provide them with an understanding of supply chain mechanics, different contract types and how this affects the decision making unit (DMU). With this knowledge they can be more effective at identifying when to speak to key decision makers in the construction process and influence product specification.

Sales gadgets

Give your team the tools to sell effectively. We are not talking x-ray vision here, or a swanky bat-mobile. A well thought out website, sales literature, samples and a suite of comprehensive CPD presentations are essentials. Case studies are also vital aids to conversations with specifiers. Providing a set of information that demonstrates your product benefits is a great way of kitting your team out.

Trusted to save the day

Finally, armed with construction industry knowledge and a comprehensive set of product information they are able to talk confidently with specifiers. Placing themselves as Trusted Advisors, someone the specifier goes to for advice. Someone that delivers technical information that delivers solutions.


Latest figures show construction is one of the largest sectors of the UK economy. It contributes almost £90 billion to the UK economy (or 6.7%). By training your team and providing them with the right sales tools you can empower them to become sales superheros, the Trusted Advisor, securing specifications.

Competitive Advantage’s training course is a great first step in empowering your team.
Join us in London on the 1st October for Creating Demand through Specification.
Cost is just £295 + VAT per delegate.

Further reading:

Benefits are what matters

4 key research methods to better understand specification

Construction product specification, your questions answered





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