AB Dealer News

Exclusively for Allan Block Distribution Partners

Q4 2018 Issue

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Allan Block

training opportunities

ABU Online

Dealer ABU Online is growing and more exciting topics are going to be held this fall and winter! Are you taking advantage of the training opportunities to help you take market share? The second Wednesday of each month we host a live online training platform to compliment Dealer ABU which is held in our office each winter along with the various recorded online training videos available to you through The Dealer Portal. Keep an eye out for future training opportunities and check out the topics below and register today to learn more about the opportunities to help you increase your sales of AB products.

Upcoming Events:

Courtyard (Seating Wall) General Installation Tips

November 14, 2018 (30 min)

Contractor Certification - Why is it Important?

December 12, 2018 (30 min)

Retaining Wall Estimating

Estimating with Retaining Wall App and Estimating Tool
January 9, 2019 (30 min)

Getting Ready for a Long Winter's Online Training

What to do over winter? Hmmm, I know, how about getting comfortable and watching a couple online webinars brought to you specially by Allan Block.

Fall Leaves

As the temperature begins to drop and the leaves are turning it is the best time to learn about retaining wall installation. Imagine yourself learning the technical aspects of retaining walls and envision yourself recounting these details to your customers. See how impressed they look and how good you feel knowing the finer points of retaining walls.

Winter Landscape

Now the temperature dips even further and all the projects from this past spring/summer seem a million miles away, educate yourself about Courtyard and an amazing seating wall install. This is sure to be a crowd pleaser and you can use your knowledge to get others thinking forward to spending time outside with friends and family on their custom-built courtyard patio area.

sitting by the fire

Deeper into winter and all you really want to do to hone your craft is watch YouTube demonstrations and Allan Block webinars. Now it's time to dig in and consider the AB Contractor Certification. Possibly the coupe de' gras of webinars because you begin to see yourself in a new light. The light that shines upon specialists in your field and could quite possibly put you in the official category of, "Know It All".

We can help! Check out the schedule for what the upcoming Dealer Webinars are above.

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

In this Issue:

Allan Block University for Dealers (Dealer ABU)

Who Should Attend Allan Block’s ABU?

- written by new Allan Block team member in 2018

When I first started at Allan Block, I knew nothing about Segmental Retaining Walls (SRW’s). Fortunately, everyone went out of their way to teach me everything they know about what they do and how it adds to the whole of Allan Block. My co-workers say that every day they learn something new and they always share what they have learned. That is the spirit of Allan Block: Learning, Teaching, Passing it on.

Dealer ABU Photo

Originally when I was told I would be attending all days of the upcoming ABU, I shrunk back. How much information can one person take in before they start forgetting everything? I felt overwhelmed and honestly, I was not looking forward to it. When the first day of ABU arrived, I dedicated myself to listening and taking lots of notes (just in case my threshold of learning had, in fact, been reached). Something amazing happened! I started to learn about building Allan Block Retaining Walls and Fences, in all their variety of designs and uses. I learned about why geogrid is important and saw first hand the difference it can make. I learned why Allan Blocks are made the way they are and the difference they have made in the market AND we built a wall and a fence together, which meant I got to experience everything we were learning. Most of all, I heard stories from within the trade. Stories of challenges and successes and each one of them achieved their goals with the help of the Allan Block family. That is when so much changed.

Is there anyone in your organization who needs to experience what you are teaching them? Anyone who knows a lot and needs to become more confident? Or, like me, needs to connect all the many different moving parts? That is who you should send to ABU. I would be happy to share more of my experience with anyone having questions about attending our next ABU class, please give me a call or send an email to info@allanblock.com.

Check out the upcoming dates for the next Dealer ABU classes and contact your local Allan Block sales rep about attending.

Dealer Rating Upgrade

Are the Right Customers Finding You?

We have been working on upgrading how the Allan Block distributors are listed on our website. We want to make it easier for the customer to find the best distributor for their needs. As part of these changes we are trying to show which locations cater to all customers or are more contractor customer driven.

Dealer Web

We have been working with your local manufacturers' sales reps to update your ratings to find out if your location should be listed as a DIY Service Center. These locations offer events such as DIY installation training, design or estimating assistance and have signage and product displays. If your location offers these services, an extra icon will be shown along with your rating to signify this to the customer.

Star Banner

We are also expanding our Star Ratings in a couple ways.

  • Any distributor who takes advantage of expanding their Allan Block knowledge by using our vast training resources - on-line webinars, one on one tutorials, AB Contractor Certification classes or attending an ABU at our facility – could raise their Star Rating. See the training opportunities listed to the left or within the Dealer Portal.
  • Any distributor who actively works with their local AB sales rep to reward the AB trained and certified contractors that are buying from them could also raise their Star Ratings.

Have questions on how you are being listed on our website with the upcoming change. Let us know – we are here to ensure you are rated properly!

Contractor Tips: How to End Your Season

AB Contractor Rewards!

It is hard to believe we are discussing the end of the 2018 selling season already, but as we enter the fourth quarter we are faced with that reality. We hope you had a successful season and want to thank you for your continued support of Allan Block and our production partners. We also want to throw out a suggestion for finishing your season with a bang!!

Each year we hear about people looking for “gifts” to provide customers during the off season due to holiday’s, trade shows or even customer appreciation events. How about providing them something they can use every day during the season and even remember you by each of those days. What is it you are asking? Allan Block rewards such as dead blows, levels, contractor bags, coolers and more are options that one gets for completing the Allan Block Contractor Certification program and building walls. If they have gone through a class with us in the past, send us the information on the walls they have built. If they haven’t gone through a class, schedule one today with your production partner and get as many contractors to the class as possible so we can send you free rewards to provide your customers!

AB Rewards

This has proven to be a great way to further enhance your position with contractors and we look forward to sharing the hundreds of rewards we have with you soon. Call (1-800-899-5309) or email us today to start the process.

Selling Tips: Display Upgrades and Sleeve – IT

How do your customers know you sell Allan Block?

It is an interesting question and we understand there are a number of ways to get the word out. There is social media, advertising and reputation along with others. However, when somebody pulls into the yard, what are they greeted with? We have been in yards that have utilized banners, displays and signage effectively, while others keep it a complete mystery.


All the marketing listed above works well, but in our experience the most powerful and effective way to show what you sell and increase sales is to create an outdoor showroom of the products you sell. There are numerous reasons to have an outdoor display or showroom:

  • Educational opportunities
  • Convenience
  • Up selling opportunities
  • Raising Consumers confidence
  • Create visuals for people to see and touch (rather than just a book)

We are asking for two things:

  1. What are your thoughts on what has worked for you?
  2. Send us a picture of how you display your Allan Block opportunities in your yard. Send to info@allanblock.com.

Take the upcoming off-season to upgrade your displays to take advantage of a selling opportunity by showing the newest colors and styles available. Look at how much space you have and utilize it.

Sleeve-It – How to Use it to Your Advantage!

As you continue to identify ways to differentiate your business, Sleeve-It may prove to be an item to help you accomplish your goal. Generation two of Sleeve-It was recently launched and the product has never been better. Built with an integral setback and no more need to assemble on site this product has been improved upon and continues to provide a wonderful solution for pedestrian railings and fences behind retaining walls.


Sleeve-It wall cross section

Not sure what Sleeve-It is? Check out more online, but in short it is a plastic sonotube designed with a cantilever footing to reduce lateral pressures a typical sonotube and railing/fence foundation often apply to the top of a retaining wall. The best part, it allows one to place the railing/fence post (in many cases) right up behind the retaining wall to maximize space on the site. While not fit for all railing or fence foundations, it is a wonderful design that everyone should become more familiar with. Educate your customers on it today and see how you may help them solve a problem on their next retaining wall project!

What's Trending: 3D Modeling

Opening Doors for New Opportunities

Landscaping businesses attract many types of customers. Your best customers are those that purchase products multiple times a year. Customers such as contractors, designers and landscape architects can make a big difference to your bottom line when you can bring more value to their business. For this reason, we have created the Allan Block 3D modeling tools.

Using our design and estimating tools, we want to help your customers do more in less time by quickly getting estimates and receiving their design in a 3D model. Every designer struggles with balancing how much time they should spend on creating visualization of the design. Show them how easy it is to save hours by simply using our tools to design, estimate and create stunning 3D models. These tools will not only save them time and money but give them complete estimates using any of our Allan Block Collections. They can quickly change block and color options to help their customers find the perfect solutions. Designers will truly appreciate how these tools will help them do more in less time. And remember that we now help them create models that are BIM (Building Information Model) compliant to integrate with Revit for creating a complete BIM site and building plan.

Seasoned professional and newbies alike know the value of creating stunning visualizations. The challenge has always been the time it takes to design, estimate and then create drawings and models. Using Allan Block 3D Modeling Tools designers can significantly increase their profits by spending less time and get more results. These tools are easy and very powerful. They do everything for you but build the walls. All you need is a creative idea and the tools can help you visualize your dreams. Allan Block has many resources such as our website and supporting associates and staff to insure your experience is “Always Better”.

3D Bridge Model

In The Spotlight: U-Save Rockery

U-Save Rockery in San Jose, CA has been providing building materials and landscape supplies to homeowners and contractors alike for over 50 years and in that time, owner Sandy McEwen has learned a few things about building relationships with her customers. She believes that to grow a successful business you need to not only meet your customer’s needs but develop lasting relationships and most importantly – friendships.

U-Save Rockery

Located in the heart of the Bay Area, U-Save is in a prime location to not only get Allan Block products from Calstone, the local Allan Block manufacturer, but to distribute them as well. But they don’t rely on just their prime location to bring in the customers; they host a variety of events and cultivate the relationships with those customers who walk through their doors. One of the many ways they do this is through a long-standing summer event where they cater lunch to the contractors they do business with. Hot dogs are grilled up every first Thursday from May thru October each year and while filling up on much needed fuel, contractors get a chance to fill up on product and program information.

Sandy says they use this time to get to know their customers on a more personal level, building loyalty and comradery while being able to bend their ears on things like the Allan Block Certification Program. ‘Having an opportunity to chat with the guys about the importance of being an AB Certified Contractor and inviting them to upcoming classes, or just talking to them about the projects they have going in is great’, Sandy reflects. During the summer when everyone is so busy – sometimes knowing they can grab some block and lunch at the same time has them stopping in when they could have gone somewhere else for their materials.

That extra effort in hospitality is really such a small thing but has a big impact on strengthening existing relationships and cultivating new ones. It sets U-Save Rockery apart from the competition allowing them to provide more than just products to their customers - giving them the opportunity to provide information, assistance, and to service their customers on a whole different level.

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Allan Block Corporation
7424 W. 78th Street, Bloomington, MN 55439
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