Nine in 10 advertisers see newsletters as valuable in understanding your audience. The use of growing your email list will help businesses to activate their data and fully understand their audience. Newsletters will also allow businesses to personalize their communication efforts and see who they should be targeting. Lastly, they will also help to provide first-party data and show you relevant content that businesses can use to build a connection with consumers.
2) Site/app visitation behavior
Website and app visitation can provide important behavior that can be used to track their data. When users connect to your website, the website can collect your audience details. From websites or apps, you can gain users email address, name, mobile number, location based on shipping information and behavioral data. With all this data you can easily see what audience persona or following you have and market directly towards them.
3) Social media
Social media is a vital tool in collecting your audience’s data. Your audience will most likely be using social media way more than just typical Google. Especially in this day and age, people are constantly on a social media platform throughout the day. With social media, you can directly see who your audience is and can even focus on paid media to target and get more insights. With knowing your audience, you can also look for ways to improve on social media to try and expand your first-party data.
Data is very important in knowing who your audience is and seeing who you should be marketing towards.
What’s your company doing to increase their first-party data?
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.
As a mobile jobber for a major brand, you either have a set number of technicians on your route or a set geographic boundary controlling your selling efforts. Being an independent mobile jobber, your efficiency, selling time, and logic determine the ground you can successfully cover. Major or independent, there are limits on the number of customer opportunities and realistic hours in the day you can sell.
It’s always easy to think that you only need a bigger territory or access to larger dealerships to be a Top 100 dealer (but this is probably not going to happen). You could wish for lower prices, higher margins, and fewer backorders (I guarantee that this is not going to happen). And finally, you can hope that one of your competitors drops out of the business since he is a price-cutting pain in your wallet!
So, if wishing, hoping, and praying are not going to help, there is only one thing remaining. You are going to have to accept the cards (aka, technicians) you’ve been dealt and make the most of it.
This month we’re looking at ways for you to look at your customer and prospect base and build your revenues with the opportunities you have.
I imagine you have a good idea of who are all the absolute Tool Nuts, Good Customers, Sporadic Customers, non-customer prospects, and Dead Beats (cash only) that work in your area. I’m guessing that you have some document/spreadsheet/program with all the names of the technicians and shop owners in your area.
Let’s start with the Dead Beats (cash only) in your area. No matter how bad at bill paying these technicians are, they still need tools to do their jobs. Granted they are probably buying many of their tools at Harbor Freight or some other discount location, but there are still some specialty products they can only get from a true automotive jobber — like you. Don’t ignore these people. You never know if their financial missteps are over or they are now somehow currently flush with cash. Talk to them, show them your new cool tools, and discuss a way for them to potentially get in your good credit graces. Maybe give them a plan that if they buy x amount from you for cash, you will start them out with a small credit line. Talk openly but discretely with them about their issues, it’s often surprising what a little open communication can accomplish. Think of it this way, anything you sell them is 100% plus business, and additionally, you will probably sell to these people at full-boat list price.
Your next target group should be the people who are buying from someone but not from you. These are your prospects. Continue dropping off your promotional brochures and eye-to-eye thank them for looking at it and while you at it mention that you would appreciate a shot at their business. I’m sure in some cases these non-customers are mad at you, your predecessor, or the brand that is on your truck, and these issues are what you need to get past. Sometimes a simple request like “how can I earn your business back” may crack the ice and open a conversation. This conversation may not be all peaches and cream at first.
When they regurgitate whatever the previous sin (in their eyes) was, honor their statement with “I’m sorry that happened, and I’ll do my best to meet your needs as we move forward.” Sure, the prospect may be a knucklehead and never forgive you for not taking back the broken lugnut socket that he had welded to a pry bar for busting loose frozen wheel nuts. Just keep asking. If this guy is that odd, he will sooner or later become unhappy with his current supplier and come back to you. The successful action in this instance is to keep talking to them and asking for their business. Again, anything you sell them is 100% plus business.
The hardest nut to crack is the sporadic buyer. Are they maxing out their credit with every mobile who calls on them? Are they trying to spread the wealth and keep everybody happy? Are you their primary, secondary, or almost-nothing supplier?
Firstly, try your best to figure out where you stand with this sporadic buyer. Are you number 1,2,3, or four on their purchase scheme? You can mention to them that if they were to consolidate their purchases with you, you could give them something in return. Better terms, cumulative discount, the first shot of what’s new and exclusive. Something to make them feel special. Setting them up on a try before you buy it, one-week loaner program is a good way to get someone’s interest. There is no need to give away the store, just make them feel wanted and special.
The” tool nuts” of which I am one, will buy almost anything new that hits the market. The challenge here is that except when a tool is new and exclusive to your brand it is probably new and available from you and all your competitors too. In this case, it is often true that the first mobile in the door with this cool new tool gets the business.
A great idea for your Tool Nuts is to develop an email or text group list of these technicians and the day you learn of or get your hands on a new tool communicate with this group immediately letting them know about the product and that you will be bringing it to them shortly. You can even give the recipients of this communique the option of hitting reply and pre-ordering this product from you. Anything you can do to get them committed to you is the objective.
And finally, there are your Good Customers. The acronym KDWYD (keep doing what you’re doing) is your first line of defense. Keep treating them like gold, telling them every week that you appreciate their business, and always, always ask if there’s anything else you can do for them. As corny as it sounds the motivational phrase “you’re best kept rose will soon wither and die if left unattended” fits your good customers perfectly.
CLEVELAND – April 1, 2023 – Sonnhalter, a leading B2T communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, has made the strategic decision to supplement its marketing offerings with plumbing, HVAC and electrical contracting services due to industry need and demand.
“After careful consideration we’ve made the decision to add plumbing, HVAC and electrical contracting services to our current business offerings, since there is a growing demand and potential for exponential growth,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect, Sonnhalter Contracting.
“Our philosophy as a marketing firm was always ‘that we are not afraid to get our hands dirty,” explained Sonnhalter. “With more and more tradesmen retiring, the skills gap has become a more urgent crisis in the contracting arena. We feel Sonnhalter can do its part to address this need.”
Every day, the shortage in the skilled trades becomes more acute. Industry experts say the trades lost nearly a million skilled workers during the recession that have yet to be replaced, and as older workers retire, the crunch will get even tighter.
For more information on Sonnhalter’s contracting services, including plumbing, mechanical contracting, general contracting and electrical contracting, please contact: Matt Sonnhalter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just kidding… APRIL FOOLS!!!
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.
Next up was AHR in Atlanta. Now I got a whopping 12 hours at home after Vegas to do some laundry, repack and sleep before heading back to the airport! Anyhow no rest for the weary, as we had 30+ editor/influencer appointments over the course of the show for our clients Franklin Electric & NIBCO. So needless to say it was a jam-packed show!
And the busy schedule didn’t stop at the end of each show day…I had plenty of client dinners every night (we ate very well as you could see by the snippets in the video recap) and customer appreciation parties…highlighted by Franklin Electric’s party at the SkyLounge on top of The Glenn Hotel (spectacular views of downtown and the sunset).
I was also amazed at this show as far as the social media presence and the sheer number of influencers…from the AHR Podcast Pavilion and social media sessions, to the swarms of influencers walking the aisles. The podcast pavilion has grown exponentially in just three years. And the influencers far outnumbered the traditional trade media editors!
The NAHB’s International Builders Show (IBS) which has coincided with KBIS since 2014…and this year, the National Hardware Show (https://www.nationalhardwareshow.com/ ) joined the party. This was a great move for them as the last two years of this show have had dismal attendance. Although for some reason NHS is going back to having their own separate show in 2024, and from the exhibitors I spoke with, this seems like a huge mistake.
The IBS/KBIS show attendance and exhibitors were back to pre-pandemic levels, covering all four of the Las Vegas convention center halls, including the new West Hall which is absolutely beautiful. Also, a telltale sign of the trade show attendance level is the “stuffing” like sardines into the Vegas monorail at the end of the day:) And with the NFL Pro Bowl in town that weekend, it added to the buzz and traffic around The Strip.
As usual, ProBuilder’s Show Village was the centerpiece and must-see of the outside exhibits. Highlighting some of the latest innovations and product designs for today’s homes. Five homes on display this year, including a one-bedroom foldable (yes, foldable!) home built with high-tech materials. And as always, they have a happy hour with live entertainment, including some new live competitions/contests the first two days of the show.
As far as the new products there weren’t any “head turners” like the Owens Corning Pinkbar+ I saw earlier in the month at the World of Concrete show see link below for my LinkedIn post about this revolutionary product…but plenty of stuff to see and hands-on demos.