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Be positive

In such troubled times, it’s very easy to take a negative view about business but it’s important to focus on the positives when presenting your company to your customers.

One of the basic rules of selling is to present relevant benefits to the customer. Not irrelevant features, or for that matter criticisms, of your competitors.

Pretty much every company will have competitors who claim that their product or service is the best and cannot be beaten. Some companies even go as far as comparing what they have to offer with that of their competitors. But does this do them any good?

Timber frame or brick? Steel or concrete? Copper or plastic? All of these are examples of battles that we read about on a regular basis. Clients, specifiers, contractors and subcontractors need to make these evaluations but increasingly the approach taken is that all materials have their place in construction. So the supply chain will choose products and services according to the best fit for their needs.

This principle will apply to services such as contracting or design. All companies strive to achieve competitive advantage, to be different by offering unique or superior benefits. This may be the performance or characteristics of manufactured materials, or competences, skills sets of the people and the capabilities systems employed.

What the customer needs is for companies to promote the positives of their product or service. Customers, and journalists for that matter, do not want to read why one party says they shouldn’t use another. It doesn’t do anyone any good. What people want to know is why they should use the product or service from your company.

If your competitors have genuine advantage over what you have to offer – do something about it. Be positive. Innovate. Get customer feedback to identify areas where you can improve your product or service offering. Develop your business offer to match the customers’ needs.

The construction industry needs to move forward. It needs to be better value, faster and more efficient. This means that change is required. Getting stuck in the past and throwing mud at your competitors is unprofessional and is not progress.

Innovating and meeting the customers needs by offering something positive is the future.

Ian Exall is the communications manager at insulation manufacturer, Rockwool and a member of the CIMCIG organising committee.

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