Learn about taking the next steps involved in a manufacturing sale, and how to strategically move a one-time sale into a full-blown profitable relationship.
- The hardest part of any sale is actually getting that first sale. Think about it. It takes so much effort. You have to find the prospect, do the research, make the calls, build the trust, ask for the business, create the proposal, and compete with other sales professionals. And even when you win, you have done all that effort for just one sale. For most of us, that is where the sales process stops or at least stalls. We get the sale and think we are finished or that our customer's needs have been met.
But the truth is once you close that first deal, that is when the manufacturing sales process is just beginning. Beginning because it is just the start of all the things your customers need and what you can do to help them solve their problems and achieve their goals. But also, because this is where sales gets easy. You have done the heavy lifting. You have found the customer, built the trust, and convinced them you are the right person to do business with.
You have the account, and now it's time to turn it into a relationship. The technical definition of a customer relationship is when customers have three or more of your products or services and they look to you as a resource. This is the sweet spot of manufacturing sales, when you graduate from being so much more than a sales rep. You're a consultant and a trusted advisor. Follow these steps to make the transition from account to relationships. Number one, strike while hot.
The moment you close the sale is a great time to begin looking for more opportunities. Customers are never happier than when you have just solved their problems or created a new opportunity. So as soon as you close a sale, begin the process of continuing the conversation to build the relationship. If you go to the exercise file that goes with this video, you will find a great list of transition lines, lines you can use to transition from one sale to the next with ease. Number two, do your homework.
You have to really know your industry and know your customers. Moving from an account to a relationship takes knowledge of the industry, knowledge of trends, and issues happening in the market, intel on the competition, and most importantly, research on your customer. Reading articles, reviewing notes from sales calls, reviewing company profiles will go a long way in helping you move an account into in a relationship. Number three, be curious.
You have to have a passion for learning, learning about your customers, who they are, what's important to them, where their challenges are, and what their long-term goals are. The only way to turn an account into a relationship is to listen. Listen so you can hear where the opportunities are and how you can help. Enjoy the journey. This is a long process. Those accounts that turn into relationships are career-long manufacturing customers. So this process repeats itself while you add value to the customer relationship.
You increase your sales and easily achieve your goals.
- Defining manufacturing issues and players
- Using research and data to strategize the sale
- Positioning your sale as customer-focused
- Selling to multiple types of manufacturers
- Identifying and addressing urgent needs in complex sales
- Using storytelling and case studies
- Closing the deal
- Growing accounts into relationships
- Following up strategically