By David Malherbe – Published in Drakenstein Gazette – Friday 27 September 2013
Any business needs a market to sell their products or services to. We often tend to think of a market as consumers who buy from us. But there is a market that most people, except marketers, usually seldom really get to know. This market is known as the industrial market. This simply means that you sell the majority of your products and services to other businesses instead of to the final consumer.
But for businesses that sell to other businesses, there are some important ways in which this market differs from consumer markets. In the first place, marketing to these clients usually do not happen by means of advertising in the mass media. Here you need good marketers that can go from business to business to sell your product or service. Business cards and brochures form an integral part of advertising in this market.
Another important aspect is that you usually have fewer but bigger buyers. Because of this the business needs to build and keep good relationships with these fewer customers. If you render good service in the industrial market, your regular clients will usually keep on supporting you. They are the people that keep your business going without very much advertising.
An owner of a company that sells farming equipment once told me that his business has ten to fifteen big clients that contribute to about 75% of all his sales. Therefore he takes exceptional care of these clients. He makes a point of it to give them courtesy visits on their farms from time to time, because a close supplier-customer relationship is very important for the future success of such a business.
When marketing products or services to the industrial market, one of the most important aspects is to get to the right person who has influence and who really makes the buying decision. You can speak to many people in the company, but if that person does not have the authority to influence the buying decision, you basically waste your time.
The industrial market offers wonderful opportunities, but exceptional levels of service is required for success in this market.
David Malherbe and Dewald Scholtz will discuss this topic in more detail Monday evening from 19:00 till 20:00 on Radio KC 107.7 FM in the program “You the Entrepreneur”
(David Malherbe is a business- and career consultant and lives in Wellington. He can be contacted via his web page www.jedidiah.org.za or T/F 021-873 0262 or on Facebook at “Jy die Entrepreneur.”)