By John Sonnhalter, Founder, Sonnhalter
Beyond the normal marketing tactics you do, what are you doing to get closer to your contractors and LISTEN to what their issues are?
May I suggest a tradesmen council? You all have brand advocates out there, why not get them together a few times a year? By doing so, you can get a better sense of what’s happening in their world and what keeps them up at night. It’s also an opportunity to run new product ideas by them before putting them into production. If you make the meetings about them and not you, the outcome will be more positive.
You know these guys talk to each other either through social media and forums or at trade events. Meetings can be planned around major trade shows or association meetings. You’d simply invite them to come in a day ahead of time for a half-day meeting.
I’d also suggest that some of the meetings be held at your location (at your expense) so they get to meet other members of your team. Keep these meetings on track with an agenda that includes issues they want to talk about as well. There also should be action items coming out of each meeting where they can see that you actually did listen and are taking some action. Note that all action items don’t have to have a positive resolution, but the council needs to know that you at least took it under consideration.
Other than the ultimate end user, do you sell through independent reps and or distributors? These should be on your radar screen to get closer to as well. Rep and distributor councils can also reap great results.
Reps are in the trenches daily and can give you valuable insights not only on the end user level, but also what’s happening at the distributor level. Distributors can give you insights on not only current avenues of business, but might be able to point out possible new areas of growth.
Bottom line is, I’ve seen firsthand what a well-planned council can bring to a company. It’s a great long-term strategy that will help you set your brand apart.
What do you doing to get closer to your contractors?
Like this post? Read How to get more out of your B2B strategies to reach the professional tradesman.