Welcome to the "CGMI Member's Only" section of the CGMI website. Here's where you'll find Tips & Tricks submitted by our members. Feel free to browse the list below.

Sales Tip #1

“I Really Like Your Product, But It Costs Too Much.”

How many times have we heard that one sentence during our presentations? Here are a few suggestions that may help you to overcome that hated objection.

The next time an architect, engineer or owner confidently tells you “it costs too much,” try following that with something such as “compared to what?” Congratulations, you have just applied one of Dale Carnegie’s principles of selling by asking a follow-up question using one of the five “W” words.

By using the five “W’s” – who, what, where, why and when – you are asking an open-ended question that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.
“It costs too much”…”Compared to what?”
“We can’t afford it”…”Who told you that?”
“Glazed block is cheaper”…”Why do you think it is?”
“We were told it’s not in the budget”…”Where did they get their cost figures?”

The “W” questions allow the individual to tell you why they feel it costs too much so that you, as the professional representative, can overcome the objection in your presentation. The use of cost figures, life cycle costs and a demonstration will validate and establish credibility and value.

I know you are comfortable with your presentations and most of you probably feel that you are pretty good at it. These are just a few things for you to try so the next time you open you pay envelope you may be adding your sixth “W” word… “WOW!”

This sales tip is courtesy of Donald Wesselhoff, Rauch Clay Sales Corporation

Sales Tip #2

School Rehabs: An Installation Where SGFT Really Makes Sense

This is the time of year when many school projects are being planned for summer construction. A good number of these projects require rehabbing toilet rooms and shower rooms in existing buildings as the plumbing must be replaced. At the same time the architect may redo the walls and floors.

A 2″ thick SGFT or thin brick is ideal for this type of project. The 2″ SGFT can be laid up in front of most existing wall surfaces whether they are drywall, plaster or masonry. There will be no expensive preparation of the existing wall required before the SGFT wall is laid. Masonry ties should be used 16″ on center vertical and 32″ on center horizontal; this will provide a tie for every 2 square feet of wall. There is no need to remove the existing wall except where the plumber is working.

Make sure the architect realizes how simple the system is and be certain to remind them about the durability qualities and graffiti resistant qualities of the SGFT walls. This system works.

Please note we are not talking price. We are talking benefits.

Make certain every salesperson is aware of this concept. It has worked great for us.

This sales tip was provided by Paul V. Rauch Sr. of Rauch Clay Sales

Sales Tip #3

Box Lunch Presentations Offer Big Bang For The Buck

These presentations are the easiest and most cost effective way to reach our most important target audience – the architects designing buildings that could potentially feature ceramic glazed masonry. Architects won’t use the material, however, unless you take the time to educate them on its many benefits.

While you and your staff may be intimidated by the task of presenting to such a sophisticated audience, our member manufacturers and trade organizations make it as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Partner with a manufacturer and use their resources. Almost all of the glazed brick and tile manufacturers provide video, slide or Power Point presentations already approved for AIA continuing education credit at no cost to you. In many cases, they will even come out and do the presentation or they will help you get certified to make the presentations.
  2. Identify a local firm and invite their staff to your event. Offer several possible topics and let the firm choose. Make sure to let them know they will receive AIA continuing education credits for your seminar.
  3. Let BIA know about you upcoming event. Contact BIA to register your event at least two weeks in advance. Distribute an AIA Form B at the presentation to register attendees. Then send the form to BIA to handle the filing process. All BIA member companies are eligible to take advantage of this valuable member service.

Think about it. In just one hour, you could reach up to 20 key customers. According to Steve Dorsett of Upchurch Kimbrough, “I received two jobs out of a recent box lunch presentation from a firm that had no awareness of the product before our event. This is my most effective sales tool. If I could do just one promotional activity, this would be it.” Steve recommends combining your seminar with a plant tour is possible. This adds appeal to your seminar and provides architects with additional AIA credits.

Are you missing an opportunity? Get to work today planning your box lunch presentation. Don’t forget to use our manufacturers, CGMI and BIA as resources.

Sales Tip #4


You’re up for a big job. The client wants to see samples NOW. But what if a visit to the showroom is not possible? Cliff Campbell at Belden Brick came up with a creative and effective solution.

He set up a simple display in their showroom featuring color samples and a brochure positioned in front of a glazed block and snapped a few pictures with his digital camera. He crafted a well-thought out message to accompany the picture, making sure to include all the specific advantages glazed masonry has over pre-face block, his competition for the project, and emailed it to his prospective client.

Completing this virtual sales call, he invited them to a timely upcoming seminar (for AIA credit)* that Belden was hosting on ceramic glazed masonry products and promised to send them a product information packet ASAP.

This was a great example of putting today’s technology to work for you without any outside expertise.

This sales tip was inspired by Cliff Campbell at Belden Brick Sales & Service in NYC.

Sales Tip #5

Make Sure Your Customers Know Your Product

As a recent scenario in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) illustrates, even the most educated among our customers – the architects responsible for designing with our product – simply don’t know our product from its less resilient competitors. It’s our job to educate them, as the one distributor did so well with the CPS team.

When Chicago Public Schools administrators realized that decades of inferior new construction and deferred maintenance had taken a toll, they embarked on a new commitment to quality construction. Determined to avoid the mistakes of the past, the CPS architects toured existing buildings to evaluate which materials held up and which materials should not be used again.

What the architects saw was SGFT holding up terrifically, but they thought it was prefaced CMU. They simply did not know the difference. As a result, they put CMU – not SGFT – on the “approved materials” list, in effect putting an end to the use of SGFT in new school construction in Chicago.

In an effort to make the designers understand the difference, the Rauch Clay Sales team took them to look at two jobs, one with SGFT and one with prefaced CMU. The comparison was dramatic. The SGFT job looked brand new. The prefaced CMU looked dingy and dirty and had scratch marks on the face. Someone had used graffiti remover on the prefaced block and some of the plastic face had actually dissolved.

The designers now knew the difference. SGFT was added to the approved list of wall finishes.


Some architects are aware of the terrific attributes of SGFT in comparison to prefaced CMU, while others have to have the differences shown to them. Give the designer samples of the two materials and let them attempt to deface the surfaces.


Some architects are concerned about the cost difference. Yes, it’s true that SGFT is more expensive; however it is also true that the cost difference can be insignificant. A $12,000 difference on a $12,000,000 project is less than a 1/10th of one percent. Even a $50,000 difference is only about 4/10ths of a percent when compared to the total cost of the project. Go tell the story…GFT is in the budget.

This sales tip is courtesy of Chris Metz of Rauch Clay Sales.

Sales Tip #6


Because your company is a member of the Ceramic Glazed Masonry Institute, we want to help you increase your sales of ceramic glazed masonry, one of the most versatile and exciting masonry products out there.

To that end, our website (www.cgmi.org) has been improved to include an archive of helpful tips – like this one – that you can put to work for you right away. Simply by visiting the Members Only area of our website and typing in the password (tips) and you will find tips that have been written by people who actually sell these products. Please feel free to print this one and pass it along to anyone at your company who might be interested in accessing our archives.We have added a section including Case Studies that you can print and use. The two first studies are educational facilities (the largest market for our product), but we will be adding other studies on different types of projects. A section with CAD drawings of various shapes and sizes is also in the works. All these items will give you something to talk about with the designers and owners.

As inspiration (for you and the architects you work with), we have included a picture of a great looking project that was quite simple to design and build. This Livonia, Michigan recreation building used modular brick in three different colors. The colors carried through the entire course so it was simple for the bricklayer to understand what needed to be done. The designers got a great look and it was not complicated to do. Project like this exemplify the ability of ceramic glazed masonry to bring new life to any project – without requiring new skills or techniques of the architect or mason contractor.

This sales tip is courtesy Paul Rauch, Sr. of Rauch Clay Sales.

Livonia Recreation Center:
Neumann/Smith & Associates, Architect of Record
Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, Recreation Architect

Sales Tip #7


Ceramic Glazed Brick and Structural Glazed Facing Tile have exceptional anti-graffiti qualities.  This message needs to be told time and time again.  Sometimes Architects, Designers and building Owners are like school children and need to be reminded of this fact.  A good way to do this is to place this sticker on every panel, panelette and sample.  This message is accurate and to the point.

If you would like some of these stickers call us at 330-649-9551 and tell us how many you want.  We will send them to you.  If you wish print them yourself using your computers label making capabilities.

This sales tip is courtesy Paul Rauch, Sr. of Rauch Clay Sales.