Remember when you were a kid and wanted to play a team game? Two kids were captains and they chose their teams one-by-one from the remaining group. If you were picked early on, you felt great. The captain recognized your importance and your ability. It was a rush. You were wanted.
Have you ever thought of picking customers that way?
When I first started doing sales for Raven Machine & Tool, I made a list of three companies I wanted on my customer list: Tennant, Dana Gresen and Graco. They were selected because they fit the profile of our perfect customer.
Next, I made it my business to find out everything I could about the companies: their mission statement, their annual sales, their competitors and especially the products they produced. Next, I found out who the decision makers were. Researching the companies was easy; researching the decision makers 20 years ago was more difficult; there was no LinkedIn or Facebook.
After a great deal of persistence, I was able to set up an appointment with each company. I told each of the decision makers I wanted their company on my customer list and why; they were well respected in the industry, they made a product to be proud of, they had a reputation for excellence and for loyalty to their suppliers. I made certain they understood that it would be an honor to do work for their companies.
I designed a marketing plan focused on the decision maker in each company. At least once every month I sent them some tidbit of information about their market, their competition and/or their personal interests. (Check out the Mackay 66 for Customers – it’s excellent.)
At the end of 18 months all three companies were on our customer list. The monthly notes to the decision makers continued, but now they were a unique, handwritten “Thanks for the business” note.
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“Energy and Persistence conquer all things.”