Is it an objection or a question?

Each month, Alan Sipe, a contributing editor for Professional Distributor magazine, writes a sales skill article targeted to the independent business people who own and operate the various branded tool trucks you see parked at automotive repair shops everywhere. Although this article is written for the automotive repair industry, the sales skills are applicable to everyone. Is it an objection or a question? Your response will make a world of difference to your wallet. You’re right in the middle of a product presentation on a new Jenny electric 7.5hp stationary air compressor when the prospect interrupts and growls, “How much is this compressor?” Is it a question? Is it an objection? Is the product too expensive? The prospect used a negative tone, so they must be unhappy with my presentation, right? I’m not done with the presentation and he’s getting antsy, so he’s trying to rush me, isn’t he? First things first. Let’s understand what’s meant by the question, “How much is this compressor?” If you think about it, the prospect probably had a compressor that was working just fine. Now the thing just died or is on its last legs and they must get a new one. The prospect isn’t happy with needing a new compressor, so they most likely won’t be thrilled with any price other than free. In this case, even though the prospect interrupted you with a question, it’s simply that, a question. How you respond can move your potential customer in the direction of saying “yes” to the compressor purchase, or it can blow up in your face. A simple, straightforward response is always the best. Try being relaxed, and say something like, “It will be between $X and $Y depending on which accessories you choose. Let’s take a look at the accessories and see what you decide.” 16084read more >

Considerations When Marketing Disruptive Technologies in Construction and Manufacturing

by Michelle Laurey, guest blogger The construction and manufacturing industries are enormous engines driving any economy. For instance, in the U.S., the construction industry employs more than 7 million individuals and generates more than $1.3 trillion. On the other hand, manufacturers in the U.S. are responsible for 11.39% of the economy’s total output. They employ 8.51% of the total available workforce, and their overall output exceeds $2.3 trillion. As a result, any changes that occur in those two major industries have far-reaching consequences on the economy as a whole. Therefore, there are certain things you need to consider when you market disruptive technologies in those fields. The Evolution of These Industries Any industry changes in one of four ways: Progressive change Intermediating change Creative change Radical change, which is also known as disruptive change. The change you aim to bring about falls into the final category, but it helps to be aware of how your target industries have evolved in all four of the above categories. The Evolution of the Construction Industry  The construction industry is relatively new to disruptive change. Over the past few centuries, it has mostly witnessed minor progressive changes. Engineers in the early twentieth century were relatively similar to those from the preceding centuries. They drew plans by hand, used analog surveying equipment, and planned out projects using physical files and dossiers. It was only over the past two decades that radical changes have occurred. Today, engineers use advanced programs like AutoCAD and Revit to produce computer-aided designs, and almost every construction company worth its salt uses construction management software. What’s more, the construction industry is on the cusp of even more disruption. For instance, BIM software is changing the game, providing engineers with clear 3D models. Modular manufacturing and prefabrication construction enable engineers to build…read more >

Ways to Make up for Cancelled Trade Shows and Missed Opportunities

by Lisa Michaels, guest columnist If your company has recently missed an opportunity due to a trade show cancellation or the postponement of another event, it can have a significant effect on your bottom line. This is especially true for manufacturers who market products and services to construction, industrial or similar markets. Trade shows are a huge opportunity to promote your company, connect with potential clients, do demonstrations and network for referral opportunities. Therefore, if you miss one, you need a way to make up for the loss of revenue and business benefits. In this article, we will discuss several ways to do damage control for these missed opportunities. With these strategies, you can turn a bad situation into something that helps your company grow instead. Without further ado, let’s get started: Deploy Your Sales Reps When a business event gets cancelled, many potential clients that you were going to meet are now disengaged. You should get your sales reps to reconnect with these companies and attempt to maintain the relationship and gain new sales deals. Here are some ways you can do that: 15880read more >

It’s That Time Again — Strategic Planning

As we enter into the final quarter of 2020, (and we think we can say with absolute certainty that we are all anxious for 2020 to be over!) we find ourselves in the midst of strategic planning for the upcoming year.  Our friends over at Long & Short of It, masters of ideation, customer insights and market research, provided some thoughts on strategic planning during this unprecedented time. Their mantra is “dig and find lots of data and then turn it into actionable insights.”  Following is their guest post.  We’re all a bit tired. Psychologists are calling it pandemic fatigue and even Zoom fatigue. It’s basically just getting burned out because our normal routines have changed for a prolonged period of time and we don’t have a good sense of when we’ll finally settle into our new normal (not our favorite term either). STARTING A NEW WORK INITIATIVE MAY BE HARDER THAN IN THE PAST.  But there are some basics that must continue or are now in need of a reboot, such as updating your strategic plan. If your organization doesn’t have a strategic plan for 2021 or if it was created pre-pandemic, now is the time to either create one or revise the one you had. Customer purchasing patterns, competitor strategies and other factors have dramatically changed since early this year. According to McKinsey, over 75% of U.S. consumers have tried a new shopping behavior since the outbreak of COVID-19. They have either tried new brands or shopped at a different retailer. They are also caring more about how companies take care of the safety of their employees and the company’s purpose. Companies are also pivoting in what’s being called the big reset. Leaders are modifying how they manage, technology use has increased, core processes modified, and they are…read more >