Consistent with its customer-first values, Fortress Building Products, Garland, Tx., recently unveiled its revitalized Fortress Preferred Program. The Fortress Preferred Program will give U.S. and Canadian building professionals helpful resources for their business through lead generation, along with the ability to confidently promote and install Fortress best-in-class products. “A member of the Fortress Preferred Program is a respected professional that demonstrates unmatched knowledge of Fortress Building Products through both promotion and installation,” said Toby Bostwick, Vice President of Product & Brand. “Fortress Preferred members will be offered a quality customer experience through every step of the design and building process.” By becoming a Fortress Preferred Program member, customers will also receive instant enrollment in the Fortress Preferred Incentive Rewards Program. Along with this perk, members receive immense benefits such as the ability to access a wide range of marketing tools including, samples, literature, and branded merchandise. Members will also be able to tap into a 5-year Limited Labor coverage on eligible Fortress Building Products and gain an official Fortress Preferred Certificate and Labor Acknowledgment for homeowners. Program enrollment is open to customers based in the United States and Canada. “Professionals that become members of the Fortress Preferred Program will have priority lead referrals and support from our expert team of Fortress Sales and Customer Care Representatives,” Bostwick said.
I recently came across research confirming what many of us in the profession of educating salespeople have known for years: that purchasers would be “much more likely” to buy from a salesperson if that salesperson would just “listen” to the customer. The survey found that some of the worst offenders were experienced salespeople. Listening is one of the four fundamental competencies of a professional salesperson, and yet the profession is, in general, so poor at it most customers remark on our inability to do it well. Wow! If there is anyone I wouldn’t want thinking I was a poor listener, my customers would be towards the top of the list. Why is listening such a powerful sales competency? In my book Question Your Way to Sales Success, I describe a number of reasons. Here are a few. First, it is our primary way of digging beneath the surface of a customer’s needs and uncovering deeper and more powerful needs and motivations. That makes it a primary tool—of which the skillful use separates the master salespeople from the mediocre. For example, it doesn’t take any skill whatsoever to pick up an RFQ, a set of blueprints, or to write down a list of what the customer says he needs. You don’t have to be a master listener to do that. But to dig deeper and uncover deeper issues, that takes the ability to listen. Here’s an example. In a routine sales call with a regular customer, the customer says, “We’re thinking of going to X product. What’s your price?” Lots of salespeople would look up the price and provide it. There. Job done. The master would hear the words “Thinking of going…” and dig a little deeper. “What makes you interested in that?” he says. The customer replies: “Well, we’re looking
“Setting the Standard in Excellence” is not just a catch phrase—it’s a belief. It’s not meant to evoke a sense of competition, rather a philosophy on how we conduct ourselves on a daily basis. Every day we’re given opportunities to Set the Standard. Whether it’s with prospects, other businesses, while on the jobsite, or driving our company vehicles, we are leaving an impression. It also encompasses how we treat our team members and the trickle-down effect our attitude has on those around us. Professionalism, courtesy, respect, pride in craftsmanship, being responsive, standing behind our work, proudly displaying our membership with NADRA or your local building association are all statements about how we want to be perceived by our peers. Using better materials, taking a few extra steps to increase structural integrity, or keeping a tidy jobsite are examples of how we can be Setting the Standard. Ultimately, it’s about being better than we were yesterday and spreading that belief throughout our organizations. When we market our companies, we are seeking to set ourselves apart from a prospect’s other options. As we present our projects, we all have special key points we believe make us the “best” choice. We continuously seek out ways to stay ahead of the competition with design features, board patterns, inlays, transitions, picture frame borders, and lighting, to name just a few. As I sat fascinated by the award-winning decks from the NADRA deck contest that were on display in the last issue of Deck Specialist magazine, one feature consistently caught my eye. It was so recurring I actually started keeping track of it. LIGHTING. Yes, lighting. The majority of the winning decks showcased some sort of lighting. Whether it was under-rail, post cap, post sleeve, stair riser, or landscape lighting, it made each one of those