Why customer service is so important to manufacturers serving the tradesman

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter

I’ve talked a lot about customer service and how important it is to resolve issues. But we’ve also addressed the issue that customer service is everyone’s responsibility, from sales through tech support. Customer service is really all about your customers’ total experience.

This is true in our relationships with distributors as well as contractors. Manufacturers need to be careful, especially when business is on the uptick and attention to detail may come in second to short-term sales increase.

Don’t take your distributor and tradesman for granted. There’s always someone out there that can identify the contractor’s needs and deliver and it won’t necessarily be based on price or delivery but the total customer experience. (more…)

Hands-on Marketing or Boring Booth. You Decide.

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter

We’re in the thick of trade show season, and that brings up the age-old argument: Are they worth going to?

The ROI of a trade show can be the trickiest equation to manage. Very few feature direct sales, and how do you prove that a sale 6 months from now had anything to do with a 10 by 20 booth?

The short answer? You can’t. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go, just that you should make the most of your customer’s experience.

I just finished reading a great article from Greg Zehe, from GES. It’s his review of a couple of standout booths at this year’s CES and how they succeeded through “hands-on marketing.” And it reminded me of some of the other key strategies to ensure your booth is a stand-out: (more…)

Sonnhalter Updates Comprehensive List of Nation’s Vocational Education Programs

Agency adds nearly 1,000 programs and other new features to list of more than 20,000 technical programs across the country.

CLEVELAND – February 2017 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, updated its extensive database of vocational education and technical programs in the United States with new features, including the addition of nearly 1,000 programs.

The database, which includes more than 20,000 programs, contains useful and easy-to-read information about each program, including addresses, phone numbers, websites and more. In addition to its new programs, each state in the database is now listed separately, and there is also an updated page for national programs and resources. Other features include more concise and easier to sort course titles.

The database serves as a tool for companies looking to implement more grassroots campaigns to recruit the next generation of professional tradesmen. The convenient and easy-to-use database is available for download and is designed to be sortable and searchable for a variety of fields, including program type, location, degree type and other important information.

“When Sonnhalter launched the database of vocational and technical programs, we wanted to provide a simple resource that would make it easy for companies to reach out to students interested in becoming professional tradesmen,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “As we grow and improve our database, we continue to do our part in narrowing the gap between manufacturers and educational programs.”

To download Sonnhalter’s updated, comprehensive list of vocational programs in the U.S., visit sonnhalter.com/vocational.

Spread the Buzz, Spoil the Game

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter

Another Super Bowl, er, I mean Big Game is in the books, and like last year, we want to take a look at the ads through the lens of B2T. Are there any lessons? Probably, let’s go to the tape!

You Can Protect Your Brand Too Much

The NFL is notorious for protecting the brand name “Super Bowl.” In fact, I should probably trademark that last sentence, add a disclaimer about how it’s the property of the NFL and let you know that any rebroadcast without the express written consent of the NFL will have lawyers flying at you like DB’s at the QB.

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Not Real, But Reality

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter

By now, if you have a presence on social media, and are involved in sales or marketing, you’ve seen this:

Well, bad news.

  • “Fourth” isn’t spelled that way
  • The National Sales Executive Association doesn’t exist
  • There’s no study to be found that supports any of these statistics

There’s a great blog here that goes in to more detail. But I’d rather focus on something else:

Why do we want this to be real?

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11 Tips on How to Market to Contractors

Marketing to contractors is different than general marketing. Instead of pitching products, talk about solving problems. Contractors are busy and looking for solutions on how they can do their jobs better and make more money.

Our new tip sheet gives you 11 ways to help you get in front of contractors, promote your value proposition and become a trusted authority in the contractor’s mind.

Sign up to receive 11 Tips on How to Market to Contractors here.

 

AHR Expo Heats up Vegas (and probably cools it down)

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter

The AHR Expo, the preeminent trade show for the HVAC industry is right around the corner. The show runs from January 30th to February 1st at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

AHR just released an optimistic 2017 forecast, based on interviews with more than 1,400 HVACR manufacturers. Because of that, this year’s show promises to be an exciting and educational affair.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Over 2,000 exhibitors in 764 product categories
  • More than 60,000 people expected to attend
  • 200+ education seminars and product demonstrations
  • ASHRAE Learning Institute Courses and Certification exams
  • An innovative mobile app complete with agenda maker, interactive floor plan and more features

Of course Las Vegas has no end of off-the-show-floor options. If you need help finding best in dining, nightlife and sightseeing, check out the recently updated Sonnhalter Insider’s Guide to Las Vegas.