An Interesting Fictional (or not) Scenario
Updated: Feb 10, 2021
I recently responded to a scenario posed by a member of an SME group I am fortunate enough to be affiliated with. I'm sharing it here because, while the scenario may or may not be fictional, it is absolutely applicable to many a company, regardless of their industry focus, demographics, psychographics, or geography.
The Scenario: Scott, I am a manufacturing company whose main accounts are automotive but we have capabilities that suit other related industries like heavy equipment makers. We laid off our reps and need to find new revenue streams fast. Please help, James.
The Response: No need to press the panic button, James. So slowly take a couple of steps back and have a seat. Assuming, if I may, that your automotive accounts are still quite pleased with your company, it's time to get some written and/or video testimonials from three of them. That's Step 1.
For Step 2, write out a full description of your ideal customer (include their demographics, geographics, and psychographics) in the heavy equipment manufacturing industry and then do the same for two additional industries to which your products have easy-to-understand application. By the way, that exercise should take only three to four hours and should involve key staff that can effectively inform the discussion and ultimately the description.
Step 3 is to compile a list of the companies (include the decision-maker name, title, email, and phone). That is your target ideal customer list to which you will market.
Step 4 is to draft an intro email that includes a customer testimonial, the value proposition (stated briefly) of how your product helps solve a problem or achieve an objective specifically for similar companies, and a request for a Zoom.
Now it's time for Step 5. Send the email using an email marketing platform that provides data on opens, clicks, forwards, etc.
Step 6 is the hardest but most important of them all. You now need to pick up the phone and call each target customer whose decision-maker engaged the email and have a live conversation. You are not to wait for a reply to the email. You are not to hope they call you. You are to be proactive and do it like the olden days. Because while email and social media and content marketing and digital advertising are all very, very valuable components of the customer acquisition process, they are not, ever, an end unto themselves. The actual dialog about how your product can help is where the deal is won or lost. And who better to go for the win than you, the owner, especially since you don't have a sales team at the moment. So, get a few wins under your belt and then start thinking about how to structure a new sales team to continue your success with the process I just laid out.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. If what you just read makes sense, please send it to a colleague. After all, each and every one of us is trying to Achieve Greatness of some sort and I'm sure we can use a bit of help.