Sales Techniques

thus need to look beyond the sale and consider their customers’ ongoing needs to provide a great overall experience.

Innovate to differentiate If introducing servitisation into your sales strategy is half of the battle, the other half is keeping your strategy fresh. And this involves coming up with new tactics and services on a regular basis. The services you offer alongside your products

are what differentiate your company from competitors. This may include standard value- adding services, such as free delivery, equipment training and maintenance. But it’s innovation that will make your customers happy, and happy customers will come back for more, perhaps bringing new customers with them into the bargain. Luckily, then, modern technology, logistics and communications make it much easier to merge services and sales in new and exciting ways. Using the right software and tech, for instance, will let you improve your product development process, go-to-market timelines, supplier networks and distribution. And this will ensure that customers get what they want when they want it. First, though, you need to know exactly what your customers want.

Getting to know your customers Every electrical wholesaler has customer data available these days. The key is to use it, as well as data from social media and other marketing channels, to learn how you can best meet customers’ needs. With careful analysis, you can even pre-empt what people may need before they need it! For example, imagine a solar roofing company that gets a big rush the same time every year. Using their data, you may notice that they put in a bulk order for wiring and fixings each spring. You could then offer the customer a subscription sales model to meet this recurring need, ensuring two things: 1. Your company can proactively meet the

customer’s needs with zero fuss. 2. The customer saves time and effort as they

Essentially, the aim is to make your clients’ lives easier. This will help you sell products. But,

crucially, it will also sell your company as a brand in itself and create stronger customer

relationships. January 2019 electrical wholesaler | 37

don’t need to put in a new order every time; the wiring and fixings simply turn up each year exactly when they need them. And if the customer’s needs are met like this,

why would they look elsewhere? Essentially, the aim is to make your clients’ lives

easier. This will help you sell products. But, crucially, it will also sell your company as a brand in itself and create stronger customer relationships.

Achieving servitisation in electrical wholesaling To sum up, servitisation is about staying ahead of your competitors by giving customers exactly what they need (even if they don’t realise it yet). You should therefore: 1. Tailor your services to your customers – if most of your customers are local, for example, a 48-hour delivery guarantee may not count for much. But same-day delivery will.

2. Reward your customers for loyalty – this may be a loyalty card scheme or specific services that reflect your clients’ needs. The key is to give them a good reason to stick around. 3. Develop a reputation for expertise – if your

customers know that you and your staff can offer helpful guidance on your product range, they will come to you first. By contrast, nobody has ever called an Amazon warehouse for advice on a product. 4. Keep trying new things – if you are the first

to adopt new technology, and if you can use customer data effectively, your company will gain a huge advantage over competitors. Following this advice will help you succeed in the modern electrical wholesale industry, ensuring that existing customers return while also attracting new clients as your reputation grows.

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