5 tenets for finding and keeping new business
These tips can help fabricating companies achieve their marketing goals
Ann Latham, owner of Uncommon Clarity, a consulting and strategy firm with many industrial clients, has outlined some tenets for firms seeking ambitious marketing goals:
1. Select a group to target.
You might choose:
- Those likely to buy your most profitable products.
- Those within a geographic area.
- A new industry ripe for entry.
- A group recently or soon to be facing significant change where you can add new value.
- Quick hits such as customers of a failing competitor.
- Those offering a long-term market advantage
- A new type of customer that gives you the diversity you need to survive economic uncertainty.
The possibilities are numerous, and the choice relies on your understanding of your capabilities, market needs, and the competition.
2. Understand your competitive advantage and confirm or establish your credibilityin areas of importance to this particular target group.
- Is proximity an advantage?
- Do you provideexceptional turnaround time or support during part development?
- Can you provide evidence of a great delivery and quality track record, testimonials, awards, or capability?
You need to give prospects concrete reasons tochoose you over the competition, and these reasons must address factors critical to the buying decision. Third-party endorsements are important; singing your own praises won't cut it.
3. Know specifically the identity of your prospective buyers.
Know them by title, if not by name. Companies don't buy—individuals do. You need to know who has the authority to make thebuying decisions.
4. Establish a plan to gain visibility and access to those buyers.
- What publications do they read?
- What associations do they belong to?
- Where do they hang out?
- With whom do they partner?
- What events do they attend?
Answers to questions like these will allow you to take specific steps to get your brand in front of the right people repeatedly and cost-effectively. These steps might include speaking at conferences, obtaining press coverage, and advertising.
In addition, the answers to these questions will provide insight into the best ways to meet and build relationships with those potential buyers.
5. Poll your current customers.
Your current customer base can be a great source of information. It is never off-limits to talk with your current customers about what they value, why they do business with you, and what you could do to be even more valuable to them.