How to Incorporate Video into Your Manufacturing Sales Strategy

This week’s Tactics Thursday video is about how to incorporate video into your sales strategy! Developing impactful videos doesn’t take a hefty budget or fancy equipment! There are so many free or extremely affordable video platforms on the market that allow people to produce short, simple videos. We use a free video platform called Vidyard internally and for our manufacturing clients throughout the sales process. It allows you to take videos through your computer webcam or your phone on the Vidyard app. When using Vidyard on your computer, you have the option to record just yourself, yourself and your screen, or just your screen.

I use Vidyard to create the following:

  • LinkedIn Videos- Such as these Tactics Thursday videos, company announcements, or announcements for Women in Manufacturing Ohio, which I serve on the board as Communications Chair.
  • Client Tutorials- I often do tutorials when clients ask questions showcasing how to perform tasks in HubSpot or walking clients through email campaigns and workflows
  • Prospects Meeting Follow Up- If I have a strong meeting with a prospect, sometimes I will opt to do a video recap instead of a lengthy email follow up. This cuts through the clutter and adds a personal touch.

This video specifically highlights how to use Vidyard to develop LinkedIn videos. Video is an excellent way to promote yourself and highlight your company’s products and services. As long as you are providing value and keeping the videos short, sweet and to the point, you’re golden.

For more information on video strategy, check out my blog “Why Video Should Be Part of Your Sales Strategy

How to Get Stronger Manufacturing Referrals in 2020

Ever have a strong meeting with a manufacturing colleague that results in them promising to refer you to a few companies but then weeks go by and the referral never happens? Manufacturing referrals open doors to new business opportunities but getting your business colleagues to introduce you is easier said than done. While I’m sure most people have great intentions when agreeing to refer you to a contact in their network, oftentimes, they get bogged down with work and forget or keep putting it off. By using this method, you are taking the pressure off your colleague and making the referral process as easy as copying and pasting!

Deep Search Your Business Connection’s Network on LinkedIn

Have a good relationship with a business connection? Why not ask them for a referral. Instead of asking them blankly for a referral, it’s better to see who they are connected to and ask for specific referrals, by name. I always take a deep dive into who my colleague is connected to on LinkedIn, what professional organizations they are involved in, and what schools they have attended to identify any opportunities for referrals they may have. I try to come into our business lunch with 3-5 contacts I think could be a fit for my services.

At the Meeting and Follow-Up Post Meeting

At your business meeting, say the following:

“Hi [Business Contact], I see you are connected with [Name] on LinkedIn. After reviewing their website, I think they could use our products/services. Would you be willing to introduce us?”

If your contact agrees to refer you, send a follow-up email immediately after your meeting saying something along the lines of the following:

“Thank you very much. Below I’ve attached a draft email introduction which you can use or tweak as you see fit.”

Sending a draft intro is helpfulfor a few reasons:

  1. You are taking the pressure off your contact to draft an introduction.
  2. Your contact will be more likely to refer you in a timely manner since it’s as simple as a quick copy and paste
  3. You can control how you are introduced and ensure that the first introduction to you and your company is as strong as possible.

Drafting Your Referral Intro

Stumped on how to draft your intro, here are some tried and true tips and tricks I learned from Caleb Townsend, co-founder of Factur—Manufacturing Referrals Network.

  1. Keep it short and sweet 4-6 brief sentences. Nobody has time to read a novel so keep it straight and to the point.
  2. Make your name a link to your LinkedIn profile and your company name a link to your website.
  3. Don’t bury the lead- keep the ask at the beginning of the intro. People shouldn’t find out that your contact is looking to refer you to the last sentence.
  4. Put a sentence about your differentiating factors in the paragraph.
  5. Any notable awards or industry certifications? Include those in a sentence.
  6. Soft-close that puts the ball in their court and gives the person being asked the ability to say no.


The #1 Lead Qualifying Tip for Manufacturing Websites

In this week’s Tactics Thursday episode, I break down my #1 lead qualifying tip for manufacturing websites. While this tip is very simple, it makes a huge impact! I implore you all to take an inventory of all the forms on your website and asking yourself, “are our form doing a good job of qualifying leads on the website?” If not, ask yourself how can we ask more poignant questions that will help us determine if this is a good, qualified lead.

Below, is a list of some common questions the Felber PR & Marketing team has implemented on our clients’ websites that may be valuable for you to implement as well!

  • Drawing file upload
  • Do you require an NDA?- include a file upload with this question
  • Estimated annual usage?
  • Does your part require ‘difficult’ alloys such as aluminum or copper?
  • What is the end-use of your product?
  • How would you like to be contacted- drop-down question where someone can select email or phone

When we onboard new manufacturing clients, we always ask what are the top 5 questions you ask every prospect when you first engage them? These qualifying questions can easily be placed in a descriptive form that, when filled out by your prospect, provides your sales team with a more detailed image of the prospect’s potential to turn into a customer. Strengthening your forms is an easy tactic to refine your lead generation strategy. Enhanced forms have the ability to empower salespeople with knowledge of who this prospect is, what they require, and how your company can best serve their needs.

Related Articles

How to see who is on my manufacturing website if they haven’t filled out a form yet

A common question we hear at Felber PR & Marketing is, “how do I identify who has been on my website”? Unfortunately, without someone converting to a contact (meaning they filled out a form on your website), we really have no way to see who that person was, just that someone from that company visited the website anonymously. In this video, I delve deeply into LinkedIn prospecting when you can see what company has viewed your website through IP tracking on your inbound marketing platform, but you’re not exactly sure what person at that company is viewing your website. This approach takes some research on the company (combination of looking at their website and LinkedIn) to get a sense of which team/person might be the appropriate contact and then reaching out via email or LinkedIn. I walk you through a basic tutorial of how I do this in this quick video. Hope this helps!