By Randy Chaffee

I encourage success-minded builder/contractors to develop strong relationships with product representatives as this can be a key factor in achieving success in the industry. 

Randy Chaffee brings four-plus decades of experience to the post-frame and metal roofing industries. A board member for the Buckeye Frame Builders Association and the National Frame Builders Association, follow his podcast at No web access? Call (814) 906-0001 at 1 p.m. Eastern on Mondays to listen.

These professionals can offer valuable support, insight, and expertise that can help builders optimize their business operations and drive growth. In this article, we will explore how builders can benefit from forming relationships with product representatives and why these relationships are essential for long-term success.

Access to Product Knowledge

Product reps are experts in their respective fields and have extensive knowledge about the products they represent. By building relationships with these professionals, builders can gain access to their wealth of knowledge and expertise, which can be invaluable in making informed decisions about the products and materials they use. This can help builders make more informed choices when it comes to selecting products for specific projects, ensuring that they are choosing the best products to meet their customers’ needs.

Support for Business Growth

Fostering relationships with product reps can also provide builders with valuable support for business growth. Representatives are familiar with the evolution of the industry and can provide valuable insights into how builders can expand their business. This can include tips on marketing and pricing strategies and other tactics that can help builders attract new customers and increase the bottom line. 

There are many times a simple discussion about a project between the builder and the representative can head off costly errors as the job progresses. Many times the representative has seen the exact same situation before. A short conversation can go along way with helping avoid costly mistakes already made by others. 

A great example of this in my career was working together with a contractor and distributor on a large horse stall barn project. By teaming up early we were able to present a coordinated team effort. The customer was put in a comfort zone knowing that the distributor and the product representative were working side by side with the contractor. We were able to manage expectations right from the project’s infancy. 

Quicker Solutions to Problems

Factory representatives can provide valuable support when issues arise with the materials builders use. When a strong relationships is built with product representatives, builders will have a direct line of communication to the manufacturers of the products they use. This can help them quickly resolve any issues that arise, ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget. This can also help builders maintain strong relationships with their customers by handling any issues promptly and effectively.

Opportunities for Collaboration

By fostering relationships with product representatives, builders can open up opportunities for innovations by being part of the collaboration process between the representatives and the manufactures. Most product representatives are eager to work with builder/contractor to develop new products and solutions that can meet the evolving needs of the industry. By working closely with these professionals, builders can help influence the direction of the industry and develop new approaches to products and services. This can help builders stay at the forefront of the industry and maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace.


Ultimately, building relationships with product representatives can help builders increase their visibility in the industry. Representatives typically attend industry trade shows and conferences, where they can introduce builders to industry leaders and partners. By building relationships with representatives, builders can tap into these networks and expand their reach in the industry. This can lead to new business opportunities, which can help builders grow their business and achieve long-term success.

In conclusion, it is indispensable for the builder to develop and foster these relationships with product representatives. It is equally essential for the product representatives to seek out these relationships. This partnership is vital for those looking to succeed in the industry. 

By gaining access to product knowledge and expertise, support for business growth, special promotions, faster resolution of issues, opportunities for collaboration and innovation, and increased industry visibility, contractors can optimize their operations and drive growth. These strong relationships with product representatives will help builders develop a strong foundation for success in the industry as well as position themselves for long-term growth and profitability.

Let’s Build Wins together!