Do you remember the old instructions on the back of a shampoo bottle?
I think there are still a few around with those instructions.
“For best results, Lather, Rinse, Repeat”
This was actually one of my super successful sales mantras when I was a sales account executive in Television, Commercial Print, and Flexible Office Space. It worked phenomenally well in all those industries.
Here’s how it worked. I would create a solution or solve a problem for one customer and really learn the industry and nuances of their problems . . . then go find 5, 10, or 50 just like them.
Take fast food, for instance. As a digital print specialist, I took over an existing account, a fast food franchise company with over 100 stores in 8 different states. Their Human Resources department produced a ton of printed documents. From applications to manager handbooks to Labor Law posters. Looking at the relatively small trickle of work we were getting when I took on the account, I knew there was much print work we were not getting. I got to know the account and the people that currently trusted us with the work.
I worked with their HR department, went into the stores to see how the documents were used, and came back to my production team to come up with some economical solutions to solve one of the first most pressing problems: changing out Labor Law posters for 8 different states quickly and with minimal waste and cost. We came up with a great solution that allowed them to keep the National posters but change out the State notices easily.
We also tested and created better systems for training materials and applications and business cards. We solved the problem of labeling and laminating and after about 12 months, our team was all but certified in every possible printed material a fast food franchise would need.
So I picked up the phone and called every HR Director for every fast food franchise I could find in the tri-state area. I talked to them in person on occasion but most of the time left this voicemail:
This is Shawn Sandy with XYZ printing. I’m calling because we’ve been working with fast food franchise corporations such as (INSERT Out of Market Competitor Here) and have created significant cost and time-saving processes for printing Labor Law posters, Manager Training Kits, Crew Handbooks, and Line Labels.
I’ve seen firsthand now how much time and energy managing these printed items cost the HR Directors I’ve worked with and would like to see if you have some of the same struggles that we can resolve.
My number is 555.555.5555 and I’ll connect with you on LinkedIn in case that’s where you’d prefer to start a conversation.
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.
You better bet I followed up with them on LinkedIn and I’ll admit that I know more about LinkedIn now – I would make sure to have recommendations from clients within those industries you’re calling and targeting for them to see when you connect and they view your profile.
With these specific details, calling out their unique pain points, I probably got a return call 3 out of 5 times and converted almost all of those that returned calls. I had a pretty good book of business in the fast food and restaurant business.
I did the same thing with wireless franchises, furniture stores, and banks in the printing industry. With the Flexible Office Space, I focused on Tax Companies, Independent Financial Planners, and Attorneys – using their industry-specific needs, privacy requirements, seasonality, et cetera, to get close to them and quickly gain credibility.
Diving deep into an industry, a market niche and the specific problems they face helps demonstrate just how valuable you can be to a client. Empathizing with the owners of the problems and bringing solutions to them that they understand, relate to, and are aligned with their goals and the current situation is an excellent way to earn business.
The deeper you segment your audience, the higher you convert. Look into your current book of business and your best clients to find a niche or industry that you can speak to with in-depth knowledge, understanding, and expertise.
For best sales results, Lather, Rinse, and Repeat.
Until next time, keep kickin’ butt!