By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter
Have you given contractors clarity and conviction as to who you are? Sometimes manufacturers focus all their efforts on products and not enough time on developing their value proposition. Others take for granted that everyone knows who we are and what we do.
I recently read an article by James O’Gara from On Message about creating clarity and conviction in the minds of your customers that got me thinking about a possible disconnect on messaging through the buying process. James points out that the message has to be consistent before, during and after the sale. Customers or potential customers can’t have one message when they are investigating a solution, only to find out once they start the buying process, the culture and messaging has changed.
Your story needs to capture not only your purpose and vision but your positioning statement, the value you deliver and what sets you apart from the competition. The bottom line is, your story can’t change from one phase to another. You need to be consistent and authentic!
According to Kapost, a content management company, “75 percent of the B-to-B buying process takes place online and more than 60 percent of decision makers start the buying process with informal research using search engines and blogs to look for products or solutions.” If you get them to take the next step and your messaging isn’t consistent, you risk losing the sale.
Now for most manufacturers who sell to contractors, you’re not looking for a one-time sale, so how you do in the first two portions might dictate future additional sales. According to New Business Strategies,“60 percent of fortune 500 companies say their purchase decision is based on what the buyer believes their post-purchase experience is like.”
So when was the last time you took a look at messaging throughout your buying process?