Will Trade Shows Be the Shot in the Arm for Manufacturers?

 

Did you see what I did there? Vaccine shots….

Manufacturers, like many businesses, have had to completely rethink their marketing approach. For years, it was feet on the street and months of trade shows, conferences, and hosted lunch & learns. Then, the doors were locked, events were canceled worldwide, and well, you know the rest of the story. Over a year ago we started writing about the huge interest in digital marketing and all things virtual. Here’s where our head was a year ago: How to Adapt B2B Manufacturing Sales Strategy for the COVID-19 World. Digital is here to stay, but another log is back on the fire.

It is April 2021 and we are once again hearing about trade shows. Will the attendees and exhibitors return at past levels? Who knows? People may be just so sick of quarantine they will attend just to get out of their basement office and see prospects in person. This very well may be an early adopter situation.

We’re sponsoring a meetup in Columbus Ohio for manufacturers. If you are in town on April 28th, contact me for tickets.

What we do know is the planning has not changed. If you are considering a show in the 4th quarter of 2021, that may sound like a long time away. It is not. Over the next few weeks, we will revisit all that is the trade show. We will cover planning, sponsorship, media interviews, and more. Our consulting on trade conferences covers three critical phases: Pre-show, During the Show, and Post-Show.

Here’s a primer, written in 2015 to get you started. Trade Show Preparation 101 for Manufacturers

If you are ready to get serious about your exhibition and creating a return on investment, download our free Trade Shows for Manufacturers eBook

Our “Best of LinkedIn” blogs

LinkedIn continues to be the go-to platform for manufacturers to connect, promote, and engage prospects. Our manufacturing clients have integrated LinkedIn with their HubSpot CRM, connected paid social campaigns, and routinely generate leads from the platform. Here’s a collection of our most popular blogs on all that is LinkedIn.

5 Templates to Connect with Someone on LinkedIn That You’ve Never Met

3 Manufacturing LinkedIn Posts That Drive Engagement

5 Unique Ways to Prospect on LinkedIn

Hungry for more? Here’s the entire collection.

 

Guest Blog: Company Values and the Relationship to Leadership

By Glenn Levar, President/CEO
Shared Time Human Resources Management, Inc.

During a crisis such as COVID-19, it is time for manufacturing executives, directors, managers, and supervisors to become leaders. Leadership is the art of influence and the skill of creating the conditions to achieve operational and organizational success. Managers manage things: budgets, strategic plans, and operational plans. On the other hand, leaders respect others, coach, build teams, provide feedback, encourage feedback from others, and improve employee skills to accomplish goals. Great companies are built on values and mutual trust.

The leader, entrepreneur, or business owner establishes the company’s values and is responsible for communicating them to employees, customers, vendors, stakeholders, and the community. The organization’s leader is its prominent cheerleader for company values.

Values are the foundation of the organization. Leaders must live and thoroughly understand the company’s values day in and day out.

The values steer the organization’s acceptable business behavior. Company leadership must align itself with its value statement. For an organization to be effective, leaders are responsible for agreeing with their company’s values.

As a leader, your values are essential to your overall organizational success. Today, employees want to work with a company with a purpose (mission) and values that meet their needs.

Leaders’ expectations are based on the company values that may be formally written or even unwritten. Many start-up companies, for example, may not have formally written values statements, while established companies have written value statements. Their values are long-lasting. They guide decision-making and might never change.

Recently, Shared Time Human Resources Management had an appointment with a multi-generational, family-owned business. During the meeting with two senior managers, we discussed numerous issues. When asked what the company’s values were, neither senior manager could identify a single value. They guessed and subsequently admitted they did not know. As our conversation continued, we discussed retention rates. Shared Time discovered senior and recently hired employees with ten (10) or more years of service. In the last twelve months, more than 50 percent of the company’s employees voluntarily left for other opportunities.

The following are examples from two major corporations: one followed its values; the other did not.

In 1982, Johnson and Johnson (J&J) were alerted that someone had tainted Tylenol Extra Strength capsules in at least half a dozen pharmacies and grocery store shelves in the greater Chicago area. J&J chairman directed all consumers not to resume using the product until the extent of the tampering could be determined. J&J stopped advertising Tylenol and ordered all Tylenol be removed from store shelves. J&J acted following their corporate values and did not want to risk public safety. J&J corporate leaders admitted upfront there was a problem and responded to the Tylenol crisis. J&J’s response remains the benchmark on why values matter. J&J’s corporate values.

British Petroleum (BP) purchased Standard Oil of Ohio (SOHIO) in 1987. BP wanted Standard Oil of Ohio for several reasons including its Alaskan pipeline, distribution system, and employees. Twenty-three (23) years after the acquisition, on April 20, 2010, BP had a disaster in the Gulf of Mexico with its drilling rig platform, Deepwater Horizon. At the outset of the crisis, BP officials stated oil volume leaking from the rig was low. Several days later, the rig sunk, and eleven workers were dead. The investigation found BP took shortcuts, cut corners in drilling, and ignored early warning signs before the explosion. BP’s corporate leaders were not truthful from the outset of the crisis. BP’s corporate values (code of conduct) were updated in July 2014.

Values are what the organization lives by. Value is about the discipline it is getting people aligned and engaged in taught action to solve problems. Values are the underpinning on which the organization’s culture rests. Culture is the company’s business operating system to make decisions and communicate with employees, customers, vendors, shareholders, and communities.

In his book Good to Great Jim Collins stated, “enduring companies preserve their core values and purpose while their business strategies and operating practices endlessly adapt to a changing world. This is the magical combination of preserving the core and stimulate progress.”

If you are interested in learning more about this blog or case study, its results, or the human resources services Shared Time offers, please contact Glenn Levar (telephone: 440.979.1046, e-mail: grlevar@sthrm.com).  To learn more about Shared Time Human Resources Management Inc., please visit www.sthrm.com

Shared Time welcomes referrals from clients and friends. Please pass this human resource case study along to anyone who may have a need or be interested in Shared Time’s HR services.

Who moved my (CHEESE) Trade Show Booth?

The National Tooling & Machining Association featured our article in their printed newsletter The Record. With trade shows canceled due to the pandemic, manufacturers are struggling with a huge gap in their lead generation.  See the entire article here.

 

What Did You Expect to Happen? Get the result you expect in your marketing campaigns

 

Simple question, with a not-so-simple answer. We ask this question to our customers and prospects alike, and the answer will surprise you. As manufacturing companies build their marketing plans, they use email marketing drip campaigns, industrial public relations, inbound content marketing, and advertising tactics. Now, you might be thinking the answer is sales, and you would be right if you connect the dots. The problem is the dots or “steps” in your plan are disconnected.

Do you know what to expect when, and how it will be measured? Knowing what success looks like and what you expect will be critical 9 months from now when you are asked in a meeting, “is your program working?”

Major tactics and the most common gaps in each

Email campaigns are still one of the most used and effective in modern marketing. You control the content, who by persona you are targeting, and the result you want to happen. With most contract manufacturers, your sales cycle is long, 12,24 even 48 months in some industries. Email marketing lets you maintain a relationship with your prospect, impart expertise to make your case, and at the end of the day, measure engagement. Engagement is your window into who is interested and who is not inside your CRM. With reporting, you can measure who is active, who is reading your emails, visiting your website, downloading your technical papers, and even reading the quotes you sent. Engagement is the measurement on the path to sales and answers what we want to happen by this activity.

Industrial public relations are often one of the most misunderstood tactics. We hear “We just want to make a splash. We want prospects to know our name,” OR “we want to send a press release. OK, why? I ask again, what do you expect to happen when you send a press release? Most manufacturers think a press release is an article, it is not. Or, the simple tactic of sending a release drives the sale, again, no.

Getting coverage in a coveted trade magazine, with a high circulation that matches your target audience is the first step.

That said, the purpose of a press release is to get the attention of the editor so that they consider writing about your company news. A more direct approach is pitching proprietary case studies to a publication. A case study, prominently featured, drives interest and website traffic. This is the dot you are looking to connect. The measurement hence is a lead capture structure inside your website that gathers the lead information. Then (see email marketing above), you can begin the process of engagement leading to the ultimate measurement, that elusive sale. One note of caution, public relations is a long-game tactic. With editorial cycles and magazine issues planned months in advance, you need to be ready for the success that is measured in years, not weeks.

Inbound content marketing is the process of drawing prospects to your company through content they want to read. Content that solves their problem. Here, drafting content about your products and services, highlighting the problems you solve is key. One of my favorite responses to “our prospects are not on the internet or our business is just so niche” is Engineers worth their salt and under 40 Google everything. And, these engineers are not at their desk; they are on the manufacturing floor, solving problems and searching the internet from a device. Wouldn’t you want to be the solution they see first? Like public relations, this content strategy needs to have a system to capture these leads and begin the measurement process. One of your dots can be more leads and measurement here is easy. Read: Why Manufacturers Need a Content Map for Inbound Marketing Success Now, you can answer the question of why you are researching, writing, and publishing content on your blog. Justification of your spending on content generation is easy when you can show the leads and sales generated.

Advertising (print, pay-per-click, paid social) comes in as many facets as there are ways to spend your budget. With leads and engagement in mind, now that you have seen the rationale above, advertising can yield immediate results. All ads can impact name recognition, elicit a response and uncover hidden needs with your prospects. LinkedIn paid social ads for example generate leads in real-time (very measurable). Imagine calling an interested prospect within minutes of their response. This is what is supposed to happen in advertising campaigns – lead generation.

See this article on why digital advertising is very relevant in the no-trade-show-pandemic world we’re living in currently. Why Manufacturers Should Invest in Digital Advertising Right Now

The dots in this process include voice of customer assessments, copywriting, graphic design, photography, and video – all the tools an advertising campaign needs. This should help you support your budget request, as you can show the results.

Let’s discuss today what expectations you have for your marketing plans for the remainder of 2021. Call Rob Felber (330) 963-3664 or email RobFelber@FelberPR.com to arrange a time to speak.

How to Write a Great Manufacturing Case Study

Case studies provide your manufacturing company an incredible opportunity to showcase your expertise, product value, and customer service. While testimonials are great, case studies go a step above by highlighting a customer story from start to finish. Continue reading to learn some key tips to make your case studies stand out and resonate with your prospects.

  1. Write About Your Most Relatable Customer Story

Do you have a clear understanding of who your ideal prospects are? Check out our blog Why Developing Buyer Personas is Invaluable for Manufacturers to get a crystal clear vision of the ideal prospects you’d like to close as customers. When your prospects read your case studies, the goal is to have them resonate with the story.

To do this, we suggest highlighting an industry-specific need the customer had and explain how your product or service was the solution. Ultimately, you want your ideal prospects to read the case study and say ‘I have that same problem’ or ‘If they helped XYZ Company, they must be a trusted industry supplier.’

Media Appointments That Are Out of This World – Case Study, Fabrisonic LLC.

  1. Don’t Cut Out the Details

Unlike a testimonial, a case study is meant to be in a long format. An excellent case study really allows your audience to get to know your customer, understand your company’s relationship with them, and fully explains in detail your work together.

Make sure in your case study that you explain the challenge your customer had and how you helped them with their unique goals and challenges. If you and the customer went back and forth with a few design iterations before landing on the final part design, don’t cut that out. Allow your readers to see the full picture and understand all that went into the project. Need help writing content? Our experienced writers are available to help.

  1. Legitimize the Story with Metrics and Visuals

To have an effective case study that your prospects will read and engage with your company, it is essential to include metrics to legitimize your story. Did you create a product in record time? Include in the story how much quicker you got your solution to your customer. Did switching their product manufacturing from another process to your process save them money? Include a quote from your customer talking about cost-savings.

Felber PR rebrands PMI

Include tangible results so your readers have a clear understanding of what you could do for them. When you are done writing your story (and it’s been approved by your customer to go live), don’t forget to add customer-approved high-resolution visuals or videos. Photos, infographics, and videos are a phenomenal way to enhance your story and get your message across to prospects.

Are you saying to yourself, this is great but I’ll never be able to get my customers to participate in case studies, don’t fret.  Check out our blog, How to Convince Your Stubborn Manufacturing Customers to Participate in Case Studies for our tried and true tips to get them to say yes!

Concerned your staff of engineers can’t write? Not to worry. Our experienced writers will help you unlock the content vault. Since 1993, we’ve developed blogs, case studies, white papers, press releases, literature, and eBooks for business-to-business manufacturers. Give me a call: Rob Felber (330) 963-3664 or RobFelber@FelberPR.com

 

How to write content engineers will read, and then take action

 

Whether you are targeting business owners, financial executives, salespeople, or engineers, your writing must always focus on your audience. One particularly difficult audience to target is engineers. Whether they are mechanical, electrical, civil, or chemical, all engineers like facts, not fluff. Engineers, especially those under 40, have taken to the web to research, find partners, and solve problems.

Your task, which is increasingly difficult in a fast-paced, internet dominant world, is to capture their attention. Engineers can influence the use of technology, position your products ahead of the competition, and often are the main gatekeeper to adopting your products. 

Three key factors to include in your content for manufacturing engineers is:

  • Data-focused information that clearly features specifications and facts
  • Content that conveys trust and authenticity 
  • Tools and assessments

Just the facts…Whenever possible, use charts, infographics, and video demonstrations. You are appealing to their engineering brain. Analytics, third-party lab results, industry standards are all a must to include when writing for the engineer. If they are putting their name and reputation on the line to recommend your product, they will want to have evidence to back it up. Make the evidence easy to access, download and understand. Need content help?

Trust is critical. Make sure to convey your company history, past success, and standing in the industry. Do you have associates holding positions in key industry trade groups? Has your CEO or lead engineer been featured in a magazine? Are you involved in peer-reviewed research? Use your involvement to portray a company that will not let them down. In all sales, they will not work with you until they trust you. 

Online assessments. If your product allows, this is a great place to include online calculators, surveys. and quote builders. Provide the information they need quickly and efficiently and you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition. Use email to send them their results. They will save the email for reference and have your contact information too. You’re painting a picture of a company that has been there and is experienced in the problems they face. Demonstrate this whenever possible. 

Now, just because your content is filled with facts, figures and charts do not mean the quality of the writing is secondary. We hear it all the time, “I am an engineer, not a writer.” No worries. We have a team of technical and journalistic writers that are very skilled in sorting facts from fluff and crafting content engineers will want to read. Have a project or case study you need to be wordsmithed? Give me a call or send me an email. RobFelber@felberpr.com  or (330) 963-3664.

The Best Google Chrome Extensions for B2B Manufacturing Salespeople

 

Top B2B manufacturing salespeople understand the power of optimizing their daily work routines to sell smarter, not harder. Below, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 Google Chrome extensions for B2B manufacturing salespeople that boost productivity, optimize the sales process, and allow you to build deeper relationships with prospects that ultimately, lead to sales.

1.  HubSpot Sales Chrome Extension

Manufacturing salespeople are looking for new ways to take their prospects into the customer end zone. Are you utilizing a CRM, email tracking and quotes-sent opens to get a better insight into your prospects and customers so you can sell more seamlessly? HubSpot CRM is free to get started (though there are paid available depending on your needs.) Seamlessly sync Gmail or Outlook, HubSpot, Salesforce (if you have it but not necessary since HubSpot offers a free CRM), to engage with prospects and customers more efficiently. With HubSpot Sales, schedule & track your email opens and replies access contact information, and share sales documents, presentations, and proposals/contracts with ease. Get HubSpot Sales Chrome Extension here.

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Vidyard Chrome Extension

 

 

 

Looking for new ways to crush the sales game and deepen relationships with prospects and customers from the comfort of your office or home? We use a free video platform called Vidyard (and so do our manufacturing clients). Vidyard 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 with your screen, or just your screen. Record and share unlimited videos for customer presentations, employee onboarding, team updates, and more—in just a few clicks. Get Vidyard here.

3.  Grammarly Chrome Extension

 

Let’s face it, it’s been years since we learned about pronouns, nouns, and verbs from Schoolhouse Rock videos. Not a writer or a perfect speller? Not to worry. Grammarly gives manufacturing salespeople a handy around-the-clock editor to review and refine emails, blog posts, social posts, and sales documents. Best part? It’s free and checks your grammar, spelling, and word choices so you can feel confident that you’re using the best messaging every time you engage with prospects, customers, influencers, and co-workers. Get Grammarly here.

 

4.  Giphy Chrome Extension

GIFs are a great way to ‘break the ice’ with prospects and customers in your sales emails, blogs, and social posts. Your prospects and customers are sick of seeing the same boring emails. Adding a GIF is a great way to insert personality into your emails and cut through the clutter. Just make sure you double-check to ensure there’s no cursing or inappropriate words on the GIF before sending it! Giphy Chrome Extension allows you to search for GIFs, and drag and drop ones you like into your email or content. Get Giphy here.

 

5.  LastPass Chrome Extension

 

There is nothing worse than trying to remember countless passwords with varying characters and complexity. Not to worry, you don’t have to memorize or even write down your passwords. By utilizing the LastPass Chrome Extension, you can sync this information across all connected devices. Additionally, utilizing LastPass as your password manager creates another level of security with your login information. Get LastPass here.

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you give these helpful Google Chrome Extensions a try. Have a helpful can’t-live-without Google Chrome extension that all manufacturing salespeople need to implement ASAP? Leave it in the comments section below!

5 Digital Manufacturing Tactics that Drive B2B Manufacturing Results

When manufacturers mentioned relationship-building years ago, the first thought that would come to mind is holding multiple face-to-face-meetings with key stakeholders. Fast-forward 2021 and, well, you know that storyline!  However, over the last decade, many manufacturers have shifted their sales strategy digitally to attract more leads, build relationships with prospects through content and email nurturing, and closing them quickly and more efficiently.

While face-to-face interactions still have value, manufacturers who are utilizing inbound marketing are optimizing their sales process by identifying who the leads are on their websites, what solutions they are looking for, and ultimately, when they are ready to talk to sales in their decision process.

Below, learn 5 effective strategies to strengthen your manufacturing company’s digital presence and increase lead generation and sales.

1. Tie all marketing back to the buyer personas

In order to have a successful B2B manufacturing inbound marketing strategy, you must first have a clear understanding of who your target audience is and also, who the various decision-makers are at the companies you are targeting. At Felber PR & Marketing, we stress to our manufacturing clients that in order to see success from your digital marketing campaigns, you must personalize your buyer’s experience with your brand.

To highlight this principle, let’s use a fictional fastener manufacturer ‘Fallon Fasteners’ as an example:

Fallon Fasteners may have a few different buyer personas or “ideal buyers” they target. We choose fun and easy to remember names to identify the different personas our clients are targeting. One is ‘Mechanical Engineer Eddie’, a late 30’s engineer with 5 direct reports at an automotive company. Another is ‘Buyer Betty’, an early 40’s purchasing manager at a marine company. Eddie and Betty should be served different content because their goals in choosing a fastener company are different. Eddie will be compelled to work with the Fallon Fasteners by being sent industry research, technical blogs, white papers, and customer testimonials because he is driven by bringing the most effective solution to his company. In contrast, Betty will be compelled to work with Fallon Fasteners if she is sent content that showcases cost-savings or just-in-time manufacturing because Betty’s performance at her job is evaluated by saving capital and choosing vendors that deliver products or parts in record time.

Our blog, ‘Why Buyer Personas are Invaluable for B2B Manufacturers’, walks you through the process of creating buyer personas at your company!

2. Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy

Manufacturers often put considerable effort into developing a beautiful new website and great content but if it is not easily discoverable on the web, you will not see optimal lead generation. By utilizing strong on-page SEO tactics, such as image alt-text and strong meta-descriptions on all pages and content, you can improve your website’s ability to be found by your ideal buyers.

What is alt-text?

Also called “alt tags” and “alt descriptions,” alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user’s screen. This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers and allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website. This HubSpot blog showcases what good and bad alt-text look like.

What is a meta description?

A meta description is the brief snippet of text that appears below the blue link in a search engine result. This description summarizes the content of the webpage linked above it, and although it is not an official ranking factor in Google search results, it can be edited to encourage people to click through to the webpage. This HubSpot explains how to write a meta description that drives SEO.

Looking to create an SEO strategy but don’t know where to start? Check out this resource HubSpot created with a helpful template included!

3. Boost Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns with great content offers

While you can generate strong leads through organic search traffic alone, we recommend integrating paid advertising via Google Ads and social media advertising (LinkedIn Ads), to ramp up the lead generation for our clients. In the manufacturing space, our customers do very well with paid content offers on LinkedIn.

PPC campaigns allow you to target your ideal audience and distribute your content to the right people, companies, and professions. With a strong PPC strategy, manufacturers can reach new prospects, old customers that ‘went dark’, or current customers that you would like to sell additional products or services based

A great way to increase conversion on your paid ads is by offering a great piece of content. Read: 7 Lead Generating Content Styles All B2B Manufacturers Should Implement. Your prospects are much more likely to fill out your forms if they are getting something valuable in return.

Our manufacturing clients have seen great success by offering the following pieces of content in their pay-per-click ads:

  • eBooks
  • Technical/White Papers
  • Capabilities Documents

 

Check out ‘Why Your Pay-Per-Click Ads Aren’t Working’ for more helpful PPC strategy tips!

4. Leveraging LinkedIn to Drive Lead Generation

Selling is a social process – we are often quoted saying “people do business with other people.” And LinkedIn is one of the most valuable social tools in a B2B manufacturing sales professional’s toolkit.

Top manufacturing salespeople may spend hours a week on LinkedIn because of the promise of significant ROI. You probably spend a lot of time cultivating valuable connections by prospecting on LinkedIn but how do you take it a step further? How do you take those contacts from LinkedIn connection to engaged prospects and ultimately, close them as a customer? Our latest eBook, Leveraging Linkedin for Manufacturers 2.0 answers those questions and many more including:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile
  • How to increase recommendations and endorsements
  • Ways to Grow your network
  • Content marketing on LinkedIn 101
  • How to sell better with LinkedIn

Download our Leveraging LinkedIn for Manufacturers 2.0 eBook here for helpful tactics and valuable templates!

5. Measure ROI & Monitor Campaigns Effectively

In order to have a successful inbound marketing strategy, you must be able to easily have access to data and be able to analyze what tactics are working well and which are underperforming, so that you can adjust your marketing and sales efforts for ultimate ROI. How are you currently tracking the effectiveness of your blogs, landing pages, web pages, forms, emails, social media posts, and advertising?

Can you easily track individual tactics and tie it all back to a campaign in order to measure return-on-investment? Your marketing, sales, and customer service team needs accurate information, and they need it now. Our clients utilize HubSpot, which is a helpful tool that ties all teams together and provides everyone access to the same, central database. No need to wade through multiple platforms on different servers.

Check out our blog, ‘Why B2B Manufacturers Should Utilize HubSpot’, to learn how your clients are tracking ROI from sales and marketing strategies on the platform.

At Felber PR & Marketing, we work exclusively with business-to-business manufacturers. We help our clients drive quality leads, determine the best tactics for their unique goals, and integrate HubSpot with our manufacturing clients in order to track net new leads and customers acquired from your marketing and sales tactics. Interested in ramping up your inbound marketing strategy? Contact robfelber@felberpr.com or (330) 963-3664 to get started!

 

 

 

Why didn’t my new internet lead buy immediately? The biggest misconception in lead generation

Are leads from pay-per-click, social, or LinkedIn really worth it?

Your business needs sales. Attracting more prospects seems simple enough. In the past, you invested in tactics such as trade shows. You scanned badges and made appointments right on the spot. You were able to show your machinery and products. Maybe you even held live demonstrations in your 10 x 20 rented space. Alas, those days are gone…at least for the foreseeable future.

So, you are considering new ways to build name recognition and generate leads. You’ve heard of search engine optimization and maybe have even dipped a toe into pay-per-click. You see the reports (but let’s be honest, you do not read them). Then, a few months later someone asks about the investment and you sheepishly answer that you didn’t see any leads that turned into business.

Generating leads is a critical first step…but you will need to dig deeper

I have the lead, now what?

We have written about lead generation, a lot. From live events to email marketing and content development to pay-per-click, you certainly have a lot of choices for your marketing budget.

You can brush up on lead generation tactics with these articles:

3 Business-to-Business Manufacturing Lead Generation Strategies That Work

How to develop strong downloadable content offers that generate leads

Why CRM for Manufacturing Lead Generation Doesn’t Work

The biggest misconception in lead generation

So, why would a new lead, whether generated by word of mouth or via the internet, be expected to buy any differently?

Way too often we find the single biggest flaw is expecting immediate sales. Yes, you have a new lead, but are they ready to invest in your six-figure machinery or solution?

Most of our manufacturing clients are contract manufacturers. In other words, without a purchase agreement, they are not making your 100,000 custom widgets. Think about your current customer. Did they buy the first time they spoke to your company? Or, did you need to provide estimates, drawings, prototypes, or samples? Manufacturers, especially those with large, complicated sales, do not sell on the first call; probably not on the 6th call either. Many of our customers experience 12, 24 even 36-month sales cycles – nothing has changed except how you received the lead. Want to see how you compare? Access our free inbound assessment here.

You still need to create a relationship, regardless of how you generated the leads

You need to nurture this lead, just as before. You need to understand how they buy and who is on the buying team. So, instead of expecting immediate results, prepare for the long haul. Plans should include expected return on investment, just as before, however, calculate in months to years, not days.

Selling is a relationship business and you need to keep that relationship current. How are you communicating now? Are you regularly educating your prospect? The articles below will help you learn how to qualify, communicate, and research your new prospect.

5 Stellar Manufacturing Sales Qualifying Questions You Need to Use ASAP

 The Power of an Automated Marketing, Sales and Service Platform

How to Increase Manufacturing Sales with Social Selling

Digital marketing is a great addition to your budget. Remember, you’re not selling to statistics. Traffic never moves the needle, leads do.  Do not lose sight of the fact that you are selling to real people. Actual humans. Need a reminder? Read: How to Humanize Your Business-to-Business Manufacturing Brand