October 20, 2010
Filed under: Tip of the Day
Here are five steps to take to ensure your sales and marketing efforts to new markets will be successful.
STEP 1: Evaluate the Local Market
Before deciding on a specific new market to target, you have to be certain that It’s going to be worth your while, according to Ken Thoreson, president of consulting firm Acumen Management Group. “Number one, are there enough opportunities, enough companies in that market sector within your geographics?” he says. “For example, if I want to sell to chiropractors, are there going to be enough to go after? If I find there are only three companies in my territory, I may not want to go after them.”
STEP 2: It’s all About Research
Once you decide to go after a new market and have identified potential opportunities in your area, the next step is ramp up research efforts, according to Mark Ziskind, COO of Counselor Top 40 distributor Caliendo Savio Enterprises (asi/155807), who uses Counselor’s State of the Industry report (www.StateOfTheIndustry.com) to learn which industries are big purchasers. “We’ll look at that info and ask, “Is this consistent with our client list?” You then mirror that with your contacts and your geography,” he says.
STEP 3: Make In-Person Visits
Ziskind warns that you shouldn’t do all of your new market research remotely. “You might go visit them,” he says. “Talk to them and ask, “What would you like to see in a supplier?” Or, go to the kiosks in the mall and ask, “What makes you push one phone model over another?” All you need to do is stumble onto one gold nugget of information to get a better understanding of the tools you need to go to market.”
STEP 4: Get Specific Information
After you’ve gathered general data about a particular market, you’ll want to drill down to find out as much information as you can about specific company targets. Going to corporate websites and making calls can be your sources of information here, says Thoreson. “You can pick up the phone and just ask for sales, or ask the receptionist if he or she can mail you information about their company,” he says. “Typically, if you’re selling to small businesses, you can’t go online or to The Wall Street Journal for information, but if they have press releases on their website, read their latest press releases. All that kind of information can give insights.”
STEP 5: Make a Sales-Call Checklist
When you decide that you’re prepared enough to make that first sales call to a company within your new market, Thoreson suggests the following checklist for sales reps:
From Education Adviser, vol. 32