What makes sense to an engineer might sound like gibberish to a CFO, while if a supply chain specialist comes across messaging aimed at a company president, it’s not that they wouldn’t know what it was talking about — they probably just wouldn’t care.
Large or small, most organizations have different people involved at different stages of the buying cycle.It seems like a challenge to reach them all, but it’s actually a great opportunity to create several types of focused messaging to make an impact in different areas, rather than zeroing in on one narrow target. Knowing what each of those interested parties needs can help you speak their language more effectively — and give you more chances to be in the right place at the right time when they’re considering suppliers.
These are your “tech heads,” and they’re all about specs and capabilities. Since engineers are often the first to recognize the need for a new part or technology, you want to give them as much technical information as possible, including machinery, CAD drawings, and product data, in places like a free ThomasNet profile and your own site.
The front lines of sourcing. They’re doing lots of legwork, so you want to make their job as easy as possible — it’s the first step to proving that you’re a better partner than another supplier. That means positioning yourself where they’re looking, illustrating your understanding of the supply chain, and giving examples of your reliability and problem solving skills.
Purse string holders
All about the bottom line, so show them how you’re the best choice – even if you’re not the lowest bid. Value comes in more forms than immediate pricing — communicate the efficiency, quality, and expertise that sets you apart from the cheapest option. Have you saved customers money in the past? Stories like those are a great start toward showing your long-term value.
If you’re dealing with government organizations, contractors, or public institutions, there’s an excellent chance that they’ll have diversity requirements, and many companies have quality requirements as well. Don’t make it difficult to discover which standards you meet – make your certifications as visible as possible.
It’s not any one person in particular – different people have the last word in different companies. It could be someone we’ve already talked about, like an engineer or CFO, or it could be the head of the company or someone else. Give each of those other target customers the tools they need to make the final push to whomever the ultimate decision maker may be – it’ll likely be some combination of everything we’ve talked about: technology/capabilities, efficiency, and value.
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