In terms of marketing and sales techniques, the vast majority of US-based industrial manufacturers continue to live in the past. And so do their agencies or in-house departments.
Sell products on features and benefits. Show big pictures of the products in use. Hammer home reliability, durability, engineering, quality, productivity and cost efficiencies. And then repeat with the next, new and improved! product.
Go to trade shows and do the same thing, only bigger. Hand out glossy brochures that sell the hardware. Take current and potential customers to clubs and fancy restaurants or ball games.
I was about to write “old school”, “boring” and “cost of entry” but then realized my suggestion isn’t really earth-shattering itself. But it works.
It’s called solutions.
I know, solutions is over-used and can be wrapped around any product and its features. However, many sales people are trained to make the hardware / product sale, and anything outside their comfortable perview can be difficult to fully grasp, and therefore, impact their bottom line. And their commissions. And company revenue, and ultimately the Street’s often-times misguided and uninformed expectations etc.
But if solutions is old hat, then why aren’t more industrial companies using that tact?
Broad-minded and progressive marketing and sales professionals understand that if you continue to primarily sell product, it is only a matter of time until price overrides all concerns – because features can always be added – and that commodity status is simply an inevitability.
Most companies offer some type of standard and/or value added services, they just don’t know how to sell them without losing focus.
And that’s the difference between buying a brand, and buying a product and the person selling it.
More to come…