By Erika Anderson

As Britain hits its worst slump in manufacturing for two years, Uniform is looking at how companies can target specifiers more effectively. What better time than during Clerkenwell Design Week, where some of the best and most innovative manufacturing brands congregate in London to reach out and impress specifiers, distributors and dealers.

So far this week we’ve talked about how time poor the specifier is, and how best to tackle that as a manufacturer. We’ve also talked about the need to give the specifier something new, something innovative, which will give them the edge.

Today we look at trust. What does it mean and how can you accelerate this when in reality it’s built up through time?

With the number of steps, systems, processes and people across the whole complex specification journey, trust is so important to how we work. There are no shortcuts to building it, but there are practical steps to take.

When an architect or designer makes the decision to use a supplier, they have to be sure you’re going to do what you promise. Their project, reputation, and career depend on it.

Doing what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it is the first place to start. Yet many specifiers are being let down exactly here. By suppliers that promise fast and deliver slow, estimate thriftily and charge extravagantly, and go silent on the solutions for problems they could and should have seen coming.

Above all else, people trust people. So the next place to focus on is where you put your humans. Be personal where it matters most. That may mean always having the same contact, or face to face meetings as a rule at certain stages, never phone or email.

“We want a relationship that’s personal. One which we can help 
each other when we most need it and 
can recommend each other confidently and know they will deliver 
for us.”

You both have the same end goal; a brilliant project, delivered on time and on budget. What else do you have in common? Maybe you were both a Clerkenwell Design Week, or have an interest in a certain architectural style. Maybe your company is leading the way in sustainability, a pet cause of theirs. Having these conversations isn’t small talk. It’s what cements relationships long term.

Takeaway: to build trust with a cautious audience…

  1. Be human
    Showcase your people strategically, during the moments where relationship building is most likely. Keep their point of contact within your company consistent so they have the chance to build rapport and genuinely get to know them.

  2. Let them see through you
    Mistakes happen. Circumstances fall outside of our control. Here is where being considered a partner needs to go two ways. Embrace transparent project management processes and discuss bumps in the road before they become a problem.  

  3. Find common ground
    Share your interests, ambitions and values to build rapport.

If you would like more information about how we can help you understand and target specifiers better, get in touch. 

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