Proper care and feeding of your mobile jobber

As part of my (Rachel) own training, I spent the day riding along with a MAC jobber. It was an interesting and eye-opening experience, and I learned more about sales in that one day than ever before. Mobile jobbers are a unique distribution channel that marketers in the B2T space need to better understand.

Today we have a guest post from Alan Sipe that provides insight into the world of Mobile Jobbers. Alan is President of Toolbox Sales and Consulting and has more than 40 years of experience including Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for Klein Tools and President of KNIPEX Tools. His insights in selling through various distribution channels and professional contractors are invaluable. 

via MAC Tools

Every Tuesday at about 10 a.m. or Wednesday at 3 p.m. here comes the Cornwell, MAC, Matco, Snap-on or independent mobile jobber representative into your shop.

If they are good at their job, with each visit he or she will be demonstrating the latest and greatest tools for you to purchase. They will also be taking care of your broken tools and delivering your previous orders.

But, how much do you really know about this visitor? What’s their business story? It sure looks easy, walking around showing a bunch of tool nuts (mechanics) cool tools, doesn’t it?

Well, good mobile jobbers make it look easy. But, not surprisingly, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

DAILY ROUTINE

So, what’s a typical mobile jobber’s day like? (more…)

LinkedIn Groups: Your Blog Away From Blog

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter

According to a recent survey from The Content Marketing Institute 89% of B2B Marketers use LinkedIn as a way to distribute content.

But if a potential customer isn’t already following you, all you’re doing by posting it to your company page is having a closed conversation with friends. While that’s good for strengthening relationships, it’s not an effective strategy for growing business, brand or thought leadership in your industry.

So, short of requiring all employees to share everything you post, what’s a marketer to do?

Join Groups.

If you’re not familiar with them, LinkedIn Groups are smaller “communities within the larger LinkedIn community where people and companies can connect by shared interest rather than work or personal connections.”

The advantage here is that instead of waiting for people to find you or your company, you can use your industry, process or other qualities to go out and find them.

How do you find the right group, and what do you do once you’ve found them? A lot of things you’re already doing. (more…)

Sonnhalter Adds Airmaster as New Client

Cleveland – March 2017 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, announces Airmaster as one of its newest clients.

Located in Clarklake, Mich., Airmaster is a leading manufacturer of air circulation, ventilation and heating solutions since 1886. Airmaster exports throughout the world and offers the largest line of air moving equipment in North America. Airmaster services the end user markets in the industrial, electrical and HVAC segments. Previously referred to as Airmaster Fan, the company has a full fabrication and tool and die facility, which offers a complete engineering and technical staff.

“Airmaster began its relationship with Sonnhalter during a crucial time in which the company was in the midst of creating a new brand structure, as well as relocating to a new headquarters,” said Benjamin Braitsch, president and CEO of Airmaster. “Sonnhalter helped us develop a new brand that was fresh, streamlined and communicated that we are more than just fans.”

In 2016, with the help of Sonnhalter, Airmaster unveiled a new brand identity with the introduction of a new logo. Sonnhalter provides a full range of marketing communications services for Airmaster that will span across multiple departments which will guide Airmaster creative messaging on both print and electronic platforms, as well as managing its public relations and media relations.

“Sonnhalter is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of rebranding this new era in Airmaster’s long history,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “As Airmaster continues to improve and streamline their processes for delivering air circulation and ventilation solutions, we look forward to building a brand that reflects their commitment to being on the industry’s cutting edge.”

About Airmaster:

Airmaster, based in Clarklake, Mich., manufactures heaters, air circulation and ventilation fan solutions for industrial and commercial use. Founded in 1886 as the Diehl Fan Company, today Airmaster manufactures the industry’s largest selection of air circulation and ventilation products to keep people, plants and processes cool. In 2013, Airmaster was purchased by the Maico group, a family business from Germany. The Maico group is a globally recognized leader in ventilation products and is known for product quality and reliability. Airmaster also maintains stocking warehouses across the U.S. For more information, visit airmasterfan.com.

About Sonnhalter

Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter is located in the historic Brownell Building in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes the employees’ willingness to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into clients’ businesses, also, it refers to the market it targets: the tradesmen who work with – and dirty – their hands every day. Sonnhalter developed the acronym “B2T,” which stands for “business-to-tradesmen” to capture the essence of its specialty. For more information, visit the company website at Sonnhalter.com.

Has your sales process evolved toward contractors?

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter

Buyers have taken more control over the sales process. According to Hubspot, 57% of salesmen acknowledge a shift in buyer behavior in becoming less dependent on sales from a year ago. This is true when speaking to contractors and tradesmen.

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Why Have Marketing in Manufacturing?

Today we have a guest post from Andrea Olson.

Industrial organizations rely heavily on a direct, distribution or dealer sales force for growth. Many of these companies have built themselves from the ground-up through street smarts, sweat, and hustle. With many sales build upon long-term relationships, why does a manufacturer need marketing? Aside from creating the brochures, maintaining the website and coordinating trade shows, how can marketing help grow the business? It’s a frequent misconception that many manufacturing leaders have a hard time getting their minds around.

The function of marketing has degraded in recent years, with the advent of “do-it-yourself” tools, allowing the tactical nuts-and-bolts of marketing implementation to be done by more junior staff. In addition, many mid-market manufacturers really never had the need to utilize marketing 50, 60 or 70 years ago – having built the business on a unique invention (at the time), penetrating an under-served market, or establishing a contract with a few large OEMs.

The problem today is that things have changed. Most notably: (more…)

Sonnhalter Supports Cuyahoga Community College With Annual Scholarship For School’s Construction Program

Agency’s third annual scholarship donation toward construction program adds to its longstanding relationship with trade professionals.

CLEVELAND –March 2017 – Sonnhalter, a marketing communications firm to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, continued its support of Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) “Construction Program Scholarship” with a $2,500 donation. This is the third year in a row Sonnhalter donated to the program.

With more than 5,000 students enrolled, the construction apprenticeship program at Tri-C is one of the largest of its kind and helps students learn a valuable trade within the construction industry through quality assurance, drawings, project management, scheduling, problem solving and communication.

“On behalf of Cuyahoga Community College, we are very grateful for Sonnhalter’s generous support,” said Megan O’Bryan, vice president, development and Tri-C Foundation. “This gift helps students realize a dream that otherwise may not have been possible by providing scholarships which are an essential tool in ensuring access to the education and training our students will need to work in the construction industry. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of Tri-C students.”

Students receive up to 250 hours of classroom instruction, as well as up to 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. During their apprenticeship, students have the opportunity to earn wages and learn from experienced union workers and vocational instructors. Students who complete certification in the program will have the skills to take on careers that include cost/quantity estimating, project scheduling and CAD technician work.

“Each year, Sonnhalter is pleased to further extend our support for this program and all the work it does to shape the minds of future hardworking professionals in the construction industry,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. ”It is also a unique and exciting opportunity to support a program that educates individuals in our own community who will hopefully make great strides in the Cleveland workforce.”

Last year, Sonnhalter released an extensive database of vocational education and technical programs in the United States similar to Tri-C’s construction apprenticeship program. 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. To download Sonnhalter’s updated, comprehensive list of vocational programs in the U.S., visit sonnhalter.com/vocational.

Thousands of vocational programs, many ways to connect

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Architect, Sonnhalter

More than a year ago, we released an extensive database of thousands of vocational education programs across the country. We recently updated that list, adding about 1,000 new programs, separating them out by state tabs and standardizing the descriptions to make it even easier to search, sort and use.

Why would a marketing communications firm make such a resource? We hope the tool will bridge the gap between manufacturers and educational programs. The database serves as a helpful tool for companies looking to implement more grassroots campaigns to recruit the next generation of professional tradesmen.

There are a myriad of ways to take advantage of a tool like our database. I’d love to name a thousand ways to use it (given enough time and coffee I probably could too!) but I’ll leave you with a few suggestions of how to make our work, work for you.

Fill the Talent Pipeline
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They Really Are Worth a Thousand Words

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter

Use images on your website to de-clutter, increase SEO and tell a better story.

One of the biggest pitfalls in manufacturers’ websites (and trade shows, and product literature and more) is the overriding desire to SAY TOO MUCH.

And it’s easy to see why. Most manufacturing companies are led by Engineering or Sales. Both of these disciplines are highly verbal. You want to talk about how great a new process or product is in order to show the leap you’ve made in innovation. You want to make sure the customer has all the information in order to close the deal.

The problem becomes that marketing, and effective electronic communications, are becoming increasingly visual. Part of it is screen size. More than half of all internet use is by devices other than computers, the vast majority of which have screens smaller than a laptop. And some of it is just the pace and speed at which web browsers now expect information to be presented to them in the instant search era we live in.

So, it’s imperative to get your value proposition across in less time than it will take someone to hit the back button and open the next search result. (more…)

Feeding the Content Beast: Types of Blog Content

By Rachel Kerstetter, Public Relations Architect, Sonnhalter

If your content marketing program includes a blog, you’ve felt the pressure to produce a lot of content. Blogs are hungry little monsters that need a steady stream of new information to be effective.

But never fear! It is possible to feed the content beast and not lose a finger in the process.

(more…)

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…)