|Rob Stenberg |
Director of Sales
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Becoming a specialist can increase sales.
There are three things that every good AMSOIL Dealer needs to know: how to offer the right product for the right application; who his or her customers are and why customers purchase AMSOIL products from him or her. This column will address the second point: knowing your customers. To whom are you offering AMSOIL products and your services as an AMSOIL Dealer?
Let’s start out with the wrong answer: “I offer AMSOIL products to everyone.” Business professionals who market their services to everyone don’t understand a critical truth of business today – clients want to work with specialists and experts.
If you wanted to hire a lawyer to handle a licensing matter, would you prefer an expert attorney who handles licensing issues on a regular basis, or one who also “happens” to provide licensing advice? Both attorneys may have the same type of training, but one has become focused on the area of licensing. Doesn’t that make him a more appealing choice?
The key is to target a specific market or two with AMSOIL products. That isn’t to say you should limit your services to only those customers who fall into your specialty market – you can still sell AMSOIL products to anyone who wants to buy them – you just focus your efforts on a particular group. It might seem as though you are limiting yourself, but by specializing you make yourself more visible to your target market. For example, if you specialize in powersports applications, powersports enthusiasts are more likely to find you. Most powersports enthusiasts have lubrication needs in other areas too, and could provide additional, non-powersports sales opportunities. A certain percentage of powersports enthusiasts are also general contractors; some are independent parts store owners; others are truckers; all of them present great opportunities for sales outside your specialty market.
By specializing, you will attract your ideal client, but you will also attract people from other walks of life. Some of those people may even ask you to “make an exception” and work with them. For example, let’s say you inform someone who owns a beverage delivery fleet that you specialize in helping overthe- road trucking companies maximize their fleet’s fuel economy and reduce the amount of time their trucks are in the shop. Any fleet owner knows that translates to cost savings for the company. Do you think the owner of the beverage company might ask you to “make an exception” and work with him and his fleet of gasoline vehicles? He just might.
Once you find your niche, you will want to form long-lasting relationships with your customers. You will want them to provide compelling testimonials in the future, so some thought and effort must go into what you do to foster the relationship and make them feel special. Here are some ideas; use those that work for you.
|Specializing in one area might seem like a limiting tactic; however, increasing your visibility in one market can also increase your opportunity for sales in other areas.|
- Reward your customers for being your customers. Randomly surprise them with a reward. It will go a long way, believe me.
- Listen to every little detail they say. When you talk to them next, ask how their holiday went, ask if they have anything planned for the weekend, ask how their kid did in his last sporting event. Show an interest in your customers as people.
- Cater to their every need. If you know they require a service over and above what you can normally provide, make an effort for them. Show that you care about them.
- Give them some publicity. If they are a great customer and there is an opportunity to shout about your relationship, tell everyone you know!
- Let them assist in shaping the service you provide. Don’t just ask for feedback and hope they give you something you can use; speak to your customers and ask them how their experience could be improved – ask their advice.
- Engage without trying to sell. Even when you know it is unlikely they will need AMSOIL products again anytime soon, get in touch just to keep the relationship alive.
- Call your customers by name. I know this sounds obvious, but every time you are in contact, whether face-toface, by phone or online, start off the conversation by using the customer’s name.
- Refer them to others who can also help them. If you can’t solve their problem, pass them onto someone who can. Make solving their problem your number-one aim.
So, when someone asks what you do, don’t be afraid to identify your area of expertise; it will help you stand out from the crowd. Who wants to be everything to everyone anyway?