AB Dealer News

Exclusively for Allan Block Distribution Partners

Q3 2018 Issue

Join us:

Allan Block

training opportunities

ABU Online

ABU Online for Dealers is a simple webinar training platform we created to assist you in your sales efforts. Registration is easy, and participation will be quick and efficient. Simply review the topics and times below, click the event that best fits your schedule and enter your name and email address to complete the process. You should receive an email upon completion including the calendar information for your benefit.

Upcoming Events:

The AB 3D Modeling Program

Take your designs to the next level - learn about how to take a project from 2D drawing to a 3D masterpiece
August 8, 2018 (30 min)

AB Product Overview (retaining walls and AB Courtyard)

Join us to review or to be introduced to the various AB Collection retaining walls and the AB Courtyard products.
September 12, 2018 (30 min)

Retaining Wall Installation

We will review general installation of Allan Block segmental retaining walls
October 10, 2018 (30 min)

General Courtyard (seating wall) installation

We will review general installation of Allan Block Courtyard seating walls
November 14, 2018 (30 min)

Contractor Certification - why is it important?

We will review what the AB Contractor Certification Course is in addition to how it can help you enhance your current relationships and develop new opportunities. We will explore how a contractors becomes certified and how you can receive free rewards each year for all trained or certified contractors.
December 12, 2018 (30 min)

But Wait...There's More!

Can’t wait until the next ABU Online event? Call us today (800) 899-5309 to schedule a one-on-one tutorial with us!

Want to access more training and information? Sign Up for the Dealer Portal

Dealer Resource Portal

Dealer ABU Recap

Another successful Dealer ABU season concluded in April. We hosted three classes in 2018 and had 77 attendees from 16 different production partners and 38 different dealer locations! We continue to search for and find new ways to assist our partners by listening during our events and implementing suggestions from our partners. With more hands on, solution selling modules and group activities, which includes the infamous AB Courtyard design/estimate/build/sell challenge, each Dealer ABU participant is going to find extreme value!

Dealer ABU Hands On

Keep your eye out for our 2019 Dealer ABU class schedule. Traditionally we host a two-day event during each of the first four months of the year. Dates will be set soon, and you don’t want to miss your opportunity to learn what many others already have – Dealer ABU helps you sell more block!

Dealer ABU February 2018 Winners
AB Cup Winners
February 2018

Ralph Viola, Amy Williams, Annette Woodside,Uri Gonzalez, Sawyer Rhinevault, Henry Cislo, Tanner Weston, Benjamin Brough

Dealer ABU March 2018 Winners
AB Cup Winners
March 2018

Stephanie Lambert, Shon Lay, Victor Guerrero, Alex Baeza, Jacob Chavez

Dealer ABU April 2018 Winners
AB Cup Winners
April 2018

Jay Huisken, Demi Reko, Robert Reko, Les Harris, Tim Gray, Scott Julien

In this Issue:

Dealer Resources 24/7

Have you ever had a customer ask you a question you just wish you had the answer to? Looking for ways to better educate yourself or others you work with about some of the products you sell? Or maybe you wish you had access to some tools that would make the sale process more efficient? Well you are in luck – Allan Block has those resources and more available on the Dealer Resource Portal.

tips and trends sign

This online tool is available to any individual who distributes Allan Block products. Not just for managers or owners, the Allan Block Dealer Portal is accessible to any distributor staff member who registers for an account. Just register here and you will receive a login password for access to the portal and the resources inside. Inside you will find everything from training videos and information on the Allan Block Dealer Program, to copies of the latest newsletters, and topics to help you sell and promote Allan Block at your store.

links and resources

So register your account today. We do not sell your information or provide it to any outside party. We simply want you to have all the tools you can to be successful with Allan Block products. Please contact the Allan Block Sales Support Team if you have any questions or need assistance in all things Allan Block.

Building Value with Customer Events

Have you ever asked, how can I differentiate my business? Many of your competitors most likely sell the same products or very similar products as you and racing to the bottom (on price) is not the avenue most want to take. Have you tried hosting customer events to set yourself apart? There are many options to build loyalty and differentiate from local competitors but becoming the go-to resource and providing valuable information as the trusted advisor will pull more and more customers in the door.

Homeowners: DIY Trainings

  1. Host a frequently asked question seminar – make it one class or multiple, but make sure it is direct and easy to follow.
  2. Host a Saturday morning how-to demonstration – make sure you have a quality installer (maybe an AB Certified Contractor) to demonstrate how to properly build walls and paver patios……and make sure you have contacts to pass out for leads.
  3. Host a “design seminar” and showcase the free AB Apps and turn their project into a 3D design with our Allan Block 3D Modeling Tool (Retaining wall complete and Courtyard coming soon)
  4. Showcase the AB Courtyard Patio Packages and lump everything together (pavers, wall, edging, sand, sealer, etc.)

customer loyalty


  1. Host an AB Contractor Certification class to build value and loyalty with contractors
    1. Follow up and reward them for building Allan Block walls
  2. Host a Friday afternoon lunch with hot dogs and hamburgers once a month to say thanks and answer questions or product demonstrations
  3. Create a training day on the AB Courtyard Patio Packages to show how easy Courtyard is to install on top of existing patios (for those past customers) or new applications
  4. Create training opportunities for adjacent products such as pavers, polymeric sand, lighting, etc.

Use customer events to build your reputation as the trusted advisor in the market and see how you may differentiate from all competitors! Give us a call today to help you schedule and promote your events.

Contractor Tips: Using AB Grid

Back in 2007 we wanted to come up with a solution to help you make it easy for your customers to reinforce their retaining walls. The solution then and now is using AB Grid to reinforce the soil so taller walls can be built. You should be offering AB Grid as a solution since it will minimize future problems and increase your sales.

By partnering with grid companies, the AB Grid is biaxial, which means it has strength in both directions. This allows the user to roll it out along the wall and expedite the installation process. Therefore, they are packaged in 3ft x 50ft (1m x 15.2m) or 4ft x 50ft (1.2m x 15.2m) rolls for convenience.

Installation is easy. Simply roll the grid out after you backfill and compact on the first course, then repeat every two courses or in agreement with the plans. See the Allan Block Retaining Walls Installation guide for more information.

At allanblock.com, we have full grid installation and even more information on How Grid Works. This includes a video of building a sand castle that can hold up 8 pavers.

AB Grid

AB Grid

Contractor Rewards: Building Relationships

Allan Block Certified Contractors - building wall after wall and project after project, these contractors are some of the most valuable people we have on the AB team and deserve to not only be thanked for their hard work but rewarded as well; and so the AB Rewards program was born. For over 12 years now, Allan Block has been providing tokens of our thanks to the certified contractors that build with Allan Block products.

Thank you

The AB Rewards program in a nutshell; provides an avenue of connection between you and the contractor(s) building walls, while providing some cool swag in the process.

How does it work?

The process is simple: for every Allan Block project an AB Certified Contractor builds (that meets minimum requirements) during a calendar year, we will provide a thank you reward which you can take out to them to further enhance your relationship.

To provide rewards; we need to know that the contractor(s) are building Allan Block walls. To do that we ask for a few basic pieces of information that are submitted to Allan Block:

  1. A job name
  2. City/State or Province
  3. The size and height of the project
  4. What product collection was used

This information, once submitted, allows us to process their reward and determine what the next piece of swag they are eligible to receive. We have a variety of items available and rotate through them so that each individual has the opportunity to collect them all. We currently have 11 different rewards to rotate through from bags and hard hats, to coolers, tool belts and levels.

We want to thank everybody!

That means each AB Certified Contractor that works on a project will receive a reward, not just one for the foreman or owner.

contractor rewards

And we want your help to do it!
As you build or maintain the relationships with your contractors, talk to them about the AB Rewards program let them know we just want to say thank you for the work they are already doing. Who knows they just might want to do more business with us in the future. Work with your local AB Sales Rep by providing them with project details or new contractors coming into your store. Further connect with contractors by co-hosting a lunch or other event with your local AB Sales Rep where you can present the rewards to the contractors as a team.

Through 2017, we have sent over 16,000 Allan Block rewards to contractors all over North America. Let's work together to see how many more contractors we can thank for building with AB in the years ahead! If you have any questions about the AB Rewards Program, please let us know.

Selling Tips: Cross Selling

Walls, pavers and the estimating tools to make the project estimating easy

Creating the perfect backyard design takes some planning and consideration of what a customer might want in their new outdoor space. Questions should be asked to ensure you understand what they envision so you can offer them the correct products to fit their needs. In many areas some type of slope or elevation change typically needs to be addressed. Using the Allan Block Retaining Wall Collections for this need offers easy installation, multiple facing textures and colors and is the perfect choice to use with a paver patio area in the same style or color. Using the AB Retaining Wall App you can quickly design the wall(s) that will be needed and will receive a detailed set of plans, a 3D drawing and a material list via email in minutes that you can present to your customer.

Outdoor entertaining

With the size of the backyard space determined with the placement of the retaining walls, now creating a patio area or outdoor kitchen or seating area can be done. To design the patio area, use the AB Courtyard App to create free-standing patio walls that can be designed custom to the patio size, or choose from one of the pre-design patio packages. Once you enter in the information, you will again receive a detailed set of plans, a 3D drawing (coming soon) and a material list via email in minutes that you can present to your customer. This set of plans, will also give you the patio area size for the square footage (meters) of pavers needed.

Using the 2 Apps from Allan Block can speed up your time with your customer and get them the information and materials they need. Promoting and selling the AB Retaining Walls, AB Courtyard Patio Seating Walls and Pavers together is a great way to offer the customer (homeowner or contractor) the full outdoor package upgrade.

For those of you who offer design services – or have contractors that do, make sure you check out SketchUp - 3D modeling tool. By opening the 3D files from the apps, you can now show customers a completed design of their backyard space.

What's Trending - Lighting

Landscape lighting can take your customer’s Allan Block projects and ultimately your sales to the next level. There is an article on HGTV’s website by Laura Fisher Kaiser that estimates 96.2 percent of homeowners want to light up their outdoors. And many are going far beyond the traditional lamppost or porchlight.

Allan Block Lighting

Carrying a line of low-voltage lighting would appeal to many of your potential customers. With the numerous LED options out there, the look could be fantastic. Now consider how much better the solar lights have become both in effectiveness and aesthetics. This really opens some opportunities for you.

Make it part of not only what you sell, but how you sell. There are many reasons why your customers are adding lighting:

  • Beautification
    • Enhance the entrance or accentuate the home’s architecture
  • Safety and Security
    • Define the pathway to identify hazards
    • Deter intruders by eliminating dark areas
  • Usability and Value
    • Extend the hours of your outdoor living area
    • Create the mood of the environment
    • Stunning first impressions for excellent return of investment

Get to know what your customer is looking for and sell them the solution. Whether you are adding retaining wall lighting or AB Courtyard lighting there is some additional information at allanblock.com.

Allan Block Lighting

In The Spotlight: The Rusty Shovel Landscape Shop

The Rusty Shovel Landscape Shop is a fairly new Allan Block Dealer having great success. We asked owner, Sean Stefan to give us some insight on what is working for them in their marketplace. In short - its all the support. "We started selling Allan Block four years ago, after searching for a new retaining wall vendor who offered more training and support for their products."

The Rusty Shovel Landscape Shop

Soon after signing up with the local AB Manufacturer, Expocrete, to provide Allan Block products, they were invited to attend Allan Block University (ABU) in Minnesota. He said “the training class opened my eyes to what Allan Block offers. I was amazed at all the supporting materials, tools and literature available and was really empowered by the Best Practices for Segmental Retaining Walls Design document. This one publication successfully answered all the questions that my previous vendor couldn’t.” During the two-day event, Stephan enjoyed meeting other dealers who shared new insights on selling retaining walls.

Returning home with new enthusiasm, Stephan eagerly shared what he learned with his staff and not long after Allan Block team member Chad Julius, made a special trip to The Rusty Shovel Landscape Shop to help them with Allan Block Contractor Certification classes for both retaining walls and AB Fence.

Stephan reports that “my Allan Block training has opened many doors of opportunity. Project owners are sure to succeed when their entire team of engineers, architects, contractors, installers and dealers have been trained to use the many supporting resources provided by Allan Block.”

The skills that Stephan and his staff have gained through the training and resources provided by Allan Block have been invaluable. Allowing them to provide customers with the hands-on help that they need with confidence. Thanks to the Allan Block training, Stephan happily reports that he is no longer just a sales person, but a retaining wall expert!

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Allan Block Corporation
7424 W. 78th Street, Bloomington, MN 55439
Help & Support Center: (800) 899-5309
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