by tradesmeninsights | Jul 24, 2019 | Tips, Tradesmen Insights, Traditional Marketing
By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect, Sonnhalter
The cost of acquiring a new customer can be up to five times greater than keeping an existing one.
Unless you have a unique product that no one else has, you have to compete with someone for the business, and part of that process is building good customer relationships.
Contractors, for the most part, are loyal as long as your product delivers on its promises and you don’t treat them like dirt. Bottom line is, if you treat them right, they’ll be customers for life.
Not only will they continue to be a customer, but they will become an advocate for your brand. Contractors talk to each other and believe me, if your product doesn’t deliver on its promises, word will spread fast.
Here are three ways to cultivate strong relationships with professional tradesmen:
- Stay in touch. E-mail is probably the best and most cost-effective way to this. Make them feel important, even if it’s a quick e-mail to say “thanks for your business” or a follow-up note from customer service after they helped out with a problem. It will pay off long term.
by tradesmeninsights | Sep 5, 2018 | Tips, Tradesmen Insights
By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman
I don’t know if it’s getting easier, but it sure is different from years ago. Twenty to 30 years ago, salesmen needed to make cold calls, and the only way to communicate was through land lines, faxes, letters and direct mail. The selling cycle certainly took longer back then!
Now, with the internet, cell phones, email and social media, much of the upfront work is already done for sales. YouTube videos, application data sheets and competitive comparisons are just a few of the resources available.
The key is not to try to sell something; instead, your main objective is to help solve a problem or issue. Here are a few key takeaways when selling to professional tradesmen:
– If possible, actually show you have a solution by demoing your product on an actual job site.
– Sell your value proposition on why using your product will be the reason to choose you over the competition.
– Give them names of other contractors who have similar problems/issues that you helped solve.
– Respect their time; show them your solution and ask when you should follow up.
Here are some tips:
- Deliver outstanding quality – from a great quality product to courteous customer service and user-friendly info – and then let them have the option on how they want to receive it.
- Understand what your customers want – don’t assume to know what they want – ask them.
- Connect with them – direct relationships are the most important and the most challenging. Always think WIIFT (What’s In It For Them). Be sincere and upfront with them. When communicating with them, don’t always be selling. Try to help solve a problem even though it might not, in the short term, result in a sale.
- Under promise and over deliver – exceed your customers’ expectations, then do it again.
- Don’t sit on your laurels – yes, you have real neat products, but instead of sitting there and just doing the same old, same old, innovate. If you don’t, someone else will.
by tradesmeninsights | Oct 28, 2014 | Marketing Tips, Traditional Marketing
For all of us in sales, it’s all about now. Making this month’s/quarter’s numbers. While there’s nothing wrong with this, we all need to step back and look at the total value of a customer. We need to realize, that even though we got this sale, it doesn’t guarantee the next one.
I know most manufacturers sell through distribution networks and often you don’t know who the actual end users are. But for those of you who offer something other than consumables, there are ways, e.g., warranty cards, that will give you access to the user and related products.
So what are you doing about keeping that lifetime customer? First of all, we need to not take advantage of or assume that all future orders are a lock for you. Remember, they do have other choices.
We need to have the mindset to earn every piece of future business. What can you do to foster and nurture those customer relationships so when the next purchase opportunity comes up, we have the advantage?
Here are some post sale things to think about:
- Follow-up with them to see how they liked the product (first-time buyers) and did it perform like they expected? If not, resolve the problem or take back the product. Ask them to rate the product online.
- Keep in contact with them via email. Touching base on industry issues or giving them a sneak peek at a new product coming out.
- Help them find solutions to make their job easier, even if it doesn’t include your product for that application.
By engaging with the customer, you’re building the three key factors of know, like and trust that will give you the edge next time.