Rock College’s Rockstars Sell More Than Stone Veneer Best Experiences

Buechel Stone has a rich history of natural stone training and sharing the expertise acquired through years and years of experience through Rock College courses. Mike Buechel gives an inside look at how we prepare dealer reps for more than full and thin stone veneer sales success. Find out the secrets to providing best experiences in natural stone throughout North America.

Natural Stone Knowledge | Real Stone Rock College

“Anyone who stopes learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

Thin Stone Veneer Masonry Training with Mason Dick Kaiser at Rock College - Circa 2004
Thin Stone Veneer Masonry Training with Mason Dick Kaiser at Rock College – circa 2004

Stone: natural; unique; organic; complicated? There are a lot of things about natural stone that get people excited, and there seems to be one thing that often gets people nervous.

Natural = Unique = Unknown = Risk

Something in its natural form is hard to control. How do you take fear or uncertainty away from someone who doesn’t work with what they are selling day in and day out? What makes a salesperson comfortable selling something?

Classroom Time is a Big Part of Rock College Natural Stone Product & Process Training.

Masonry Products | Brick & Manufactured Stone

No one wants to look stupid in front of their customer right? I understand a lot about the masonry industry and what makes someone want to sell something. Many non-stone options are easier to wrap your head around (in my opinion). Brick, block, cast stone, manufactured stone veneer – once you know a few of the basics it becomes a fairly straightforward sales process. Don’t get me wrong. I know if you go into the weeds with these masonry products’ technical details, they can be a lot to grasp. The idea and visual behind making the product is pretty easy though. Who didn’t have a Play-Doh Fun Factory growing up (or at least a good friend you’d always be dying to hang out with)? If you weren’t making spaghetti, you were squeezing out some other fun shape.

Play-Doh & Brick for Building Masonry Construction
The Satisfaction of Play-Doh … in Adult Form (Brick for Masonry Construction)

That’s one reason a man-made product like brick can be easy to understand. Ingredients in – extruded brick out. Salespeople have been training for this since they were three years old. Even the idea of manufactured stone veneer (aka fake or faux stone cladding) is pretty easy to understand. Throw ingredients into your KitchenAid Mixer, pour it into your cake pan, heat it up, frost it….and voila – instant fake stone. Instead of flour, it’s cement and gravel. Instead of frosting, it’s paint colors, dyes, and minerals. Brick and manufacture stone factory production gets you ‘Nailed It!’ natural stone. Does “stone” made in a Jello mold make you excited? …Me neither.

Real Stone Geology & Knowledge | Rock College

That brings me back to natural stone products and veneer stone cladding. Even if you had a rock tumbler as a kid, I’m guessing you were pretty much clueless about the actual stones. How did they get formed? What made them? Where did they come from? My guess (and I didn’t have a rock tumbler) was most kids just thought, “Hey, this is a really cool looking stone!” Lack of knowledge makes you skittish. That’s why Rock College is the go-to program for anyone in natural stone sales. You can’t just give a tour in your quarry or production facility and consider yourself a training expert.

Touring Natural Stone Saw Shop During First Day of Rock College One

Twenty-Year Track Record | Training on Stone Products

Buechel Stone has been offering Rock College for almost twenty years. In that time, we’ve also learned what works and what doesn’t work well to maintain the best use of everyone’s time and for best retention of information. It’s not just about the product knowledge we are giving. It’s about learning from others in the building and masonry industry as well. We make it fun, educational, and memorable. Oh yeah – there is a pre-test and post-test too… you’ll be amazed how much you learn.

Buechel Stone Saw Shop Tour - Rock College One Natural Stone Training
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin

Our goal with Rock College One is to make salespeople comfortable with the process of selling natural stone – understand the basics. We explain the lingo that rolls off a seasoned salesperson’s tongue. What makes a product our Country Squire or Rustic stone facing? What’s the basic specs of the product? How thick is full veneer stone versus thin stone veneer? What’s the weight of that stone? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera….

Full & Thin Stone Veneers + All Stone Product Processes

Then we get into the specifics – tour the quarry and production sites to see how we create a great experience for our Rockstars. Rock College alumni are amazed how much physical work still goes into the stone veneer, landscape stone and stone cutting processes. There aren’t many natural stones that go straight from quarry to customer. The vast majority still require some amount of work, shaping, and trimming for the final specifications. Even with all the advancements that have occurred, each stone is still 100 percent unique, prepared, and packed with care.

Buechel Stone Building Stone Veneer – The Only Thing Different Is…

Rock College Two | Natural Stone Sales Expertise

Rock College Two was grown out of experience. We used to jam everything into two days. We found this was way too much for everyone to retain the important stuff. So to help we made Rock College One a day and a half, and throttled back on the information we give. This also allows attendees the second half of the second day to travel home and minimize out-of-office time.

Masonry Construction Industry Peers Laughing and Learning at Dinner
Dinner at Rock College is a great time to learn from each other …and have a little fun too!

Rock College Two is very classroom driven. We go through details that take you from a salesperson to a “Rockstar salesperson.” We work through specifics like closing sales (Always Be Closing…), marketing you as your own brand, and understanding what’s important to architects. It’s more intense and is best when people engage in the discussion. Even though it’s not as glitzy as Rock College One, we find it makes the most confident salesperson. Rock College Two includes the always-popular hands-on thin stone masonry installation. We know many people learn best by doing. So that’s a key factor in the process.

Thin Stone Masonry Installation at Rock College Two
Rock College Two includes hands-on thin stone veneer masonry installation.

Best Buechel Stone Experiences Are Better for All

The saying, “Knowledge is power” is something I truly believe. I’m so grateful for people that attend Rock College because I know it will make them a better all-around salesperson, not just a better Buechel Stone Rockstar salesperson. The natural stone and masonry construction industry is unique and ever-changing; which is kind of surprising when you think about it. We are working with a product as old as the earth, yet most days I still learn something new. If you are a Buechel Stone Dealer, make sure to find out when our Rock College classes are. Buechel Stone’s mission is to provide the best, most dependable experience in the natural stone industry – guaranteed! We’re confident our Rock College courses will make a Rockstar salesperson out of you as well. Ask your salesperson when new classes are forming (usually spring and fall).

For more about the Buechel Stone culture of learning and our greater MISSION of providing the best, most dependable experience in the natural stone industry, check out our Buechel Bio and Careers page. JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER or follow us on your favorite social media platform (FacebookLinkedInTwitterYouTubePinterest) to be notified of everything we’re doing to ensure a future built on a foundation of strong core values dedicated to shared project success stories. Because quality products are just the beginning. And providing best experiences is what gets us out of bed every morning – making Buechel Stone your ONLY REAL CHOICE in STONE.

Mike Buechel
COO, Owner
Buechel Stone Corp.

*Editor’s Note: This post was originally published to Mike Buechel’s personal blog May 7, 2019; and has been adapted for the Buechel Stone Press & Blog May 8, 2019. Follow Mike Buechel and/or Buechel Stone on LinkedIn for more articles and stories about everything Buechel.