By Erika Anderson

It’s human nature that we want to feel special, understood, and heard. Tailoring your product, service and personal relationships is how to do exactly that for specifiers. You might not always get it right, but showing a willingness to try counts for a lot.

It’s tempting to put customers in categories, to organise their projects neatly in boxes. But specifiers don’t think like that - so we can’t either. While you might see similarities, they see every project as unique.

We’ve talked a lot in this series about the importance of understanding. Shaping your communications, your services and your products to suit their specific needs is the most tangible way to demonstrate that understanding. So, how do you get your head around the nuances?

“They need to tailor their product or service towards our exact needs. We work on a real mix of projects and each client is different.”

As our research confirms, manufacturers should never presume, but always ask. The majority of the specifiers we spoke to would value a face-to-face meeting with a supplier if the conversation were designed to understand their challenges and needs.

Now is the time to dive into the detail. Ultimately, you want specifiers to feel the service you deliver is nothing short of excellent – and excellent service looks different on every project. It’s important to identify where the value lies in each one.  

“The supplier should have the ability to understand our specific needs within our market as well as what our objectives are creatively.”

If you’ve done your research, you’ll soon be able to anticipate and respond to the needs they never knew you could help with. But at the same time, try to let customer feedback mould you. Give them a way to feedback meaningfully, and respond by changing the way you deliver your products and the way you sell.

Takeaway: to tailor their experiences to make it personal…

  1. Listen with purpose
    Show them you can be reactive to any issues that crop up, and think ahead with proactive solutions to their unique challenges.

  2. Dive into the detail
    Pay attention to the smallest detail. Never assume you know which aspects of a scope are most important to them.

  3. Let it work both ways
    Relationships strengthen when both parties benefit from each other - and not just transactionally. They will want to help you improve your service, and respect the appetite you show to improve what you do, continuously.
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