Sales Training at CSI Academy

Every building product sales rep or marketing manager will benefit from attending CSI's Product Representative Academy, to be held at the CSI Academies, March 1-3, 2012 in San Diego.

Here is what you will learn:

I'm Not Getting Through! How Do I Communicate With Design Professionals?
Do you ever feel you're not getting your message across in your architectural visits? Is it your age difference, your delivery method, the style, the timing, your cologne or all the above? Age difference is not the only problem -- it's the communication methods you use to get your message across. Architects work, learn, hear and express differently than most product representatives. Most of them have been interested in architecture and building since they were kids, and have a passion about the profession. Throw in a generational difference, and as the product representative, you need to find out the best way to get your message across. Join in this conversation on finding the best methods to share your information effectively with your architectural customers.

  • Learn about the communication barriers caused by the personality differences between architects and product representatives
  • Understand changing office dynamics and the benefits and pitfalls
  • Understand how different age groups respond, communicate and use your information
  • Learn to build trust in your relationships with architectural firms
Get It Right - What To Look For In The Specifications
Do you race to Part II of a specification to see if your product is specified and then ignore the remainder of the document? There may be important information that you are missing that could mean the difference between success and losing money, or the job. Listen to an architect/specifier's explanation of why all the information is important, how it will affect your product, and how it integrates with other products.
  • Learn the parts of a specification and the importance of each
  • Discover the frequent problems specifiers have when writing speicifcations
  • Learn how you can help the architectural team improve their specifications
Bringing Back Customer Service: How To Redevelop Relationships in Construction
What happened to the good old days, when a handshake meant something? Is customer loyalty a thing of the past? Has your personal communication with customers turned into a cold, electronic auto-response? This session will explore ways to help you redevelop relationships with customers by focusing on becoming their source and resource for information to solve their problems during design, bidding and construction phases.
  • Learn about the importance of building your network
  • Discover how referrals help make you the guru of your profession
  • Understand the importance of staying in the forefront
  • Find new ways to rebuild loyalty and remind your customer why they need you
Proprietary Specifications: The Mistakes Manufacturers Make
Many manufacturers provide electronic guide specifications written around their products exclusively. Are these sections useful, and are they worth offering? Who uses them, how they are used, and how effective they are in getting the sponsoring companies specified will be the main topics of this session.
  • Understand the difference between a generic and a proprietary specification section
  • Learn why many design professionals decline to use proprietary specifications
  • Discover the benefits of including the names of comparable products in your specifications
  • Learn why it’s a bad idea to disguise a proprietary product spec as a generic section 
How to Submit the Ultimate Substitution Request (Panel Discussion)
Who likes submitting their products for approval, especially when there is no guarantee that you'll be considered or even reviewed? This interactive, 90-minute panel discussion with two architects and a product rep/subcontractor will help you understand the process, the why-where-when-how of making a request for approval of your products, what CSI forms are available, and where to find this information in the construction documents.
  • Learn how to avoid ever needing to make a substitution request again
  • Hear why architects don't want substitutions
  • Discover the rules of the game for a successful submittal
  • Understand how to make your request meet the needs of the project and its requirements, so it will be accepted
You Want Your Product Specified? How NOT To Spend Your Marketing Dollars
Websites are important. Print advertising is useful for establishing an image. Electronic directories can be helpful, providing you use them properly. Proprietary specifications can get you specified by smaller firms on smaller projects. But getting your products listed in the major master guide specification is crucial. This session explains why.
  • Learn about the website features that are important to a specifier
  • Understand the differences between the various product directories and where you should concentrate your resources
  • Learn why print advertising is less effective with specifiers
  • Discover the importance of getting your company included in the major master guide specification systems - and learn how to do it 
Integrated Project Delivery - The Good, The Evil, and Its Affect on The Building Team
Everyone’s talking about Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), but is anyone doing anything with it? In this seminar you’ll meet a team on the IPD fast track, with a real project under construction. The panel will explain how this project delivery method completely shakes up the standard roles of architects, contractors, owners and suppliers by making them one team, focused on realizing the project, which results in shared responsibilities, shared rewards, shorter construction schedules, lower costs, fewer disputes, no legal battles, and a more enjoyable project experience for all. Sound too good to be true?  Maybe it is -- or maybe it’s a process worth serious effort. This model changes the whole role of a product rep in the construction process. In the IPD  process many of the project trades are contracted, on the basis of qualifications, rather than a hard bid for the work! Don’t miss this opportunity to find out how to compete for your place in this new delivery method -- or you may be find yourself on the outside as a spectator.
  • Find out why owners, designers and construction teams are considering IPD as their new delivery method 
  • Understand how IPD is changing the process of incorporating product knowledge into a project, and how that affects you
  • Learn about the pitfalls and downsides of this delivery method over traditional methods
Why Is It So Difficult To Get My Product Specified? Viewpoints Of An Architect and Product Rep
At the end of the day, all product reps and manufacturers want is to see their manufacturer, model number and product type listed in the architect’s specification. Sounds like a simple request, doesn’t it? It’s just what the architect needs on the job, so what’s the problem? Attend this session and listen to an architect and product representative discuss the complex choice and decisions that are essential to the product selection process and how these selections can make the difference between a successful or failed project.
  • Learn about the architect’s office policies and process of selecting products for projects 
  • Hear the manufacturer’s side of developing new products and getting them specified 
  • Discover the liability of creating specifications and who is responsible for their performance
  • Understand the influence of the owner or outside forces when making product choices
Reading the Architect's Drawings - Do You Really Know What You're Looking For?
When you visit with a designer and they roll out the plans, does fear race through your veins? Are you afraid the architects will find out that you can't find your own product on their drawings?  If you want to know the difference between a plan and elevation view, what section and details mean, how to read  an  architectural scale, or just want to look like you know what's on a set of drawings, this session is for you.
  • Learn where to find your products on the drawings
  • Find out how to identify the types of drawings and how they relate to each other
  • Work with archiectural scales - hands-on!
  • Discover how plans, elevations, schedules, details and the specifications work together
The Eleventh Hour Of Bidding
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Have you ever been in a general contractor's office on bid day and wondered why they don't talk to you? If this bid's today, why weren't they working on this proposal sooner?  Experience the excitement of being in a general contractor's office just before a bid is due. While you may know everything about your product, learning how the general contractor uses this information and your quotes may surprise you. This fast paced exercise will give you new insight why it’s essential to know about the construction documents, the bidding procedures,  and the means and methods BEFORE you submit your price.
  • Learn how subcontractors use your prices and how you may be disqualified
  • Understand the importance of knowing how your information may be analyzed at bid time
  • Find out how General Conditions, Supplementary Conditions, Division One, Specifications and Addenda affect what you need to include in your prices
Ways to Make the Audience Hungry for Your Box Lunch Presentations
What do presenters do right or wrong during box lunch presentations? Hear it from an architect that has sat through many presentations and a product representative that has provided thousands of programs. Learn the important steps to make your lunch-and-learn education session more productive, effective and beneficial to your architectural audience. Discover new ways to stimulate interest in your product, methods to improve retention for adult learners, and techniques to make you their first call for product or system consulting.

Using General Conditions and Division 01 to the Product Rep's Benefit
If you're just selling the product to your customer without knowing how the General Conditions and Division 01  affect your product or its installation, you may be walking into trouble! Know that those who frequently read the General Conditions and Division 01 are lawyers, judges, and the well-informed users who keep themselves out of the courtroom. Attendees will learn the importance of the General Conditions and Division 01 and who is responsible for what, how, and when. Beat the competition by knowing how the General Conditions and Division 01 affect your product and your Bid. Learn which sections of Division 01 you simply cannot miss reading.
  • Understand the role of Division 01 General Requirements in the Construction Contract
  • Understand what parts of the General Conditions and Division 01 affect the technical specifications and the product
  • Learn what articles in the technical specifications relate to what Sections in Division 01 
  • Learn how Division 01 shows you who is responsible for what, how and when 
A Link is Not a Relationship! Social Media for the Small Rep Agency
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and similar social media platforms are new tools – but what you should be doing with them isn’t! They’re today’s way to support your relationship with designers, so that you can remain the go-to person your clients think of first. In this session, we’ll discuss using social media to build and maintain relationships with the design team. We’ll use examples from LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. You’ll leave with a strategy for getting started in social media, or, for the experienced social media user, strategies for making your social media profiles work harder for you. Submit links to your profiles in advance, and we’ll discuss what you’re doing in social media!
  • Understand social media and its unique value for construction professionals 
  • Learn the process of turning a “like” into a relationship   
  • See where you can incorporate social media into your marketing strategy
  • Develop a plan for getting started in social media 
When to Say “NO”: A PR’s Dilemma Of Providing Too Much Free Assistance
How many material samples did you deliver this week? How many box lunch educational sessions have you presented with only interns and secretarial staff attending? How many voice mail messages did you leave as you followed up on budget pricing? Have you created your own monsters because there is no value perceived in what you are providing as a complimentary service?  Designers, architects and specifiers needs to understand what value you bring to the team. Gain tips and ideas to ensure your place as a respected colleague, not just a sample delivery person.
  • Learn methods on how to interview your customers to provide the right samples and right budgets effectively   
  • Discover ways to control your urge to say and do too much
  • Understand your role as a source of accurate architectural information
  • Discover how NOT to be just a salesperson
Helping Design Professionals Make Sustainable Choices: Performance vs. Greenwashing
Everyone, including the design professional, wants to make choices that provide a better environment. They know they have choices to make in the design of a sustainable project, and in the selection of products and systems. Some choices seem right -- they appear to satisfy environmental, social and economic elements.  But, are they really the correct ones for providing a truly sustainable project, or do they just appear to be? A product or system can perform on a sustainable project, but does it meet the true intent that complies with the rating system used? Some questions will be presented that may be used to assist in that review.
  • Review some of the current tools for analyzing products and systems that claim to be “green” or “sustainable”
  • Learn what design professionals can do to minimize greenwashing
Product Reps Giving Back: The Importance of Professional Memberships and Certifications
There are many product representatives loyal to their company's products and interested in seeing them specified. Memberships in professional organziations help to achieve that goal, and give the product rep an opportunity to become an appreciated and sought after industry professional. Hear from two long time CSI members and Fellows of CSI about how professional memberships have enhanced their careers, and their bottom lines.
  • Hear how active involvement can build your leadership skills
  • Learn how the CSI network can enhance business and employment opportunities
  • Build your reputation through participation 
  • Listen to others share how professional memberships have enhanced their career

Register now!