With travel restrictions coming into force and many exhibitions and events postponed in an effort to stop the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in its tracks, process equipment suppliers are having to adapt. Here are some tips.
There are many advantages to a face-to-face meeting when trying to convince a potential customer about the merits of your product and you were probably planning to catch up with customers and meet with prospects at exhibitions. But faced with the Coronavirus outbreak, you need to find alternatives. Fortunately, there are lots of tools at your disposal.
Use LinkedIn to connect with prospects. The professional platform is used by most stakeholders at pharmaceutical, labs, chemical, food and drink and energy production sites. Why not polish your LinkedIn profile and use it to present your products key values and cover main objections in a succinct manner? You could also ask for recommendations from your top clients.
Send connection requests to your prospects and use the additional note option to introduce yourself and your company in a few words. Make sure your approach is tailored, relevant to each prospect and doesn’t come across as too sales driven.
LinkedIn has also seduced many a sales team as a great way to keep in touch with clients. These are tricky times for many, so why not get in touch with your closer customers to ask them how they are, and how their colleagues are coping?
Is your company publishing updates on how it is facing the situation such as efforts to secure equipment production, working remotely etc? Share these updates with your network to keep your brand out there and reassure your connections. Continue to publish clients testimonials and engage with your contacts by commenting and sharing their updates to boost your online presence.
Remember you can join our LinkedIn groups to connect with like-minded equipment suppliers and access industry information and tips we share regularly. Feel free to post engaging content and start conversations. Become part of a community! Access our pharma group | Access our process group.
To keep your lists of opportunities topped up and your pipeline healthy so you are ready when things get back to normal, you need to rely on prospecting.
At Protel, we detect and track projects in the key manufacturing sectors across the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium and The Netherlands. You can access early and qualified project information to get a head start over your competitors and our expert researchers can provide the data you need to introduce your products and start the sales process.
Look for plans at companies you already have established relationships with. Identify projects similar to those you had success with. Watch the short video below where Protel account manager Debbie Broun shares top tips on how to get started with our project leads.
We can help you to start work on pre-sanction projects, build new relationships and make sure you have everything in place to hit the ground running when the situation gets better. Keep in mind that people might not be ready to make decisions or take action straight away, but by introducing yourself in an helpful manner, you are sowing the seeds and building long term relationships.
Here is a snapshot of our current coverage of projects entering procurement in 2020-21.
As well as exhibitions being rescheduled, and travel being restricted, most production sites are now closed to visitors. It is nonetheless essential for suppliers to maintain personal connections and interactions with their customers. There are many tools available to do that and below are a few that we use ourselves.
You are going to rely a lot on emails but don’t forget about messaging contacts on LinkedIn too. Your marketing department has probably been crafting brilliant brochures and material ahead of the events you were planning to attend. Now might be the right moment to use some of these compelling messages to convince manufacturers of why they should consider your equipment and invest in your brand.
There are plenty of free resources out there to help you keep on top of new trends and sharpen your tools. Have a look at LinkedIn Learning and its range of sales courses.
In conclusion, this extraordinary situation is going to affect each one of us for the months to come. The planning activity has slowed down but our research team will continue to keep a close watch on the things you need to know. Resilience is key, so plan for a long strategy and put everything in place to be ready to execute when normality returns.
Most importantly, stay safe!