It doesn’t matter how effective a sales person you are, the events that stimulate a prospective customers’ buying behavior are outside of your control. He or she may be expanding their operations and need new equipment, they may have just had a request for a quotation that requires your product, or perhaps their longstanding vendor has had a price increase or botched another delivery. The challenge, therefore, for all marketers is to get your company’s products in front of prospects when that external event arises. That will give your salespeople the best opportunity to fulfill the prospect’s need. If there’s no need you can’t make a sale!
So the question is: what is the best way to compete for mindshare and maintain a high level of product visibility so that your company gets the call or has the “door opened” for a current sales opportunity? Unless you just happen to be making sales calls on the day when one of the above events takes place or your company has the budget for an extensive, ongoing in-print and online advertising campaign, it is difficult to compete for mindshare and maintain a high level of product visibility. It can be done though. I’ve been doing it for 35 years!
In fact, I recently met with a long-standing client who had been trying to get into a major manufacturing company for over 20 years with no success. Recently though, as a result of one of our recent news releases about a product that interested the company, our client not only received a request-for-quote from that company, but it was for nearly $500,000 worth of product. This is just one recent example. I’ve introduced companies to foreign markets and created many lasting sales opportunities. These stories are a great source of pride.
The best and most cost-effective way to get control over the events that create sales opportunities is by implementing a well-executed, ongoing product news release program which targets a wide range of publications and websites appropriate for your business.
Here’s the key to marketing success, especially for small companies. You can’t control the events that create sales opportunities, but you can keep your products and company in the forefront through widespread product news coverage. So, when a prospect’s need arises, you’re company’s products and capabilities will be in front of them. Similar to the real estate business, where the three most important factors are location, location, and location, the three most important factors in industrial marketing are repetition, repetition, and repetition.
Repetition increases the odds your products and company will be in front of a prospect when his or her need arises. It also assures you that when a prospective customer’s level of interest piques to take action and buy, your product will be fresh on his or her mind. It will be fresh on their mind as a result of widespread exposure in quality publications and websites and all over page one of Google searches too because of link-popularity.
Even though you have no control over when an event might occur which will create the need for your product or sales opportunity, you can control your ability to keep your products in front of prospective customers so they will be seen when the time is right. Increase your odds of success by implementing a consistent and well-conceived product publicity campaign.
(C) 2012 Steven M. Stroum [all rights reserved]