There are two ways to bring in money in business: sell a product to new customers or upsell the customers you already have. With the right strategies, manufacturers can do both simultaneously, increasing profits and expanding their reach at the same time. Here are seven ways manufacturers can turn leads into customers and see great results after implementing these.
Know Your Prospect
If you want to sell your products and services, you first need to figure out who needs them. You might think that you’re an excellent match for just about any business in your industry. But it doesn’t matter how many leads you turn into customers if they aren’t interested in what you have to offer. Once you know who needs what, hone in on those companies that already work with people like you.
Develop a Marketing Campaign
Good marketing campaigns are all about staying top-of-mind with your leads. With so many options for marketing out there, there’s no excuse for not making it easy for prospects to find you—or for having an off-putting presence. The key is working within your budget, time constraints and choosing channels that don’t take a lot of energy away from what matters most: selling products. Here are a few examples:
- Inbound Marketing: The idea behind inbound marketing is relatively simple. It is to create compelling content that people want to read and share and make sure they know where to go when they want more information or buy something. It’s essentially word-of-mouth advertising over digital channels.
- Loyalty Programs: A loyalty program is a great way to reward customers for buying from you and building relationships with you over time. In exchange, they continue to come back and do business with you rather than your competitors. The rewards can be as simple as a discount or as extravagant as free shipping or personalized gifts.
You may have a general idea of closing a sale. Still, you also need to know how to build and maintain customer relationships. Since most sales take place at least six months after initial contact, manufacturers need to learn how to engage buyers throughout that process.
Get Creative With Lead Nurturing
If you’re not good at nurturing your leads, now is a great time to start. The best way to turn cold leads into hot prospects is to stay in touch with them regularly by using marketing automation tools such as email and SMS messaging. And don’t forget about social media too: platforms like Twitter and Facebook are effective ways of staying in contact with your targets without being overbearing or trying too hard.
Develop a Website
One of your most important tools is your website. While you may have a ton of leads, they’re useless unless you can turn them into customers by moving them through your sales funnel and eventually converting them to paying customers. For example, say you provide maintenance services for homes’ heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Your visitors will start on one of your landing pages, where you’ll introduce yourself and offer a lead magnet in exchange for their email address. Once they put their email, send them additional content (like tips for homeowners on improving their home’s energy efficiency) that provides enough value that they want to hear more from you. Also, make sure your HVAC web design includes information on easy repairs for consumers to find. That way, when people go looking for it online, they see you instead of one of your competitors.
Invest in the Right Tools
Tooling is an expense that often sneaks up on manufacturers. Still, it’s one of those investments that will save you in other ways. They can help reduce production time, increase your quality, and ensure you can quickly and accurately make adjustments. Investing in tools is especially crucial if you’re starting or dealing with high volumes. While there are plenty of investment options to consider when buying tooling, experts recommend focusing on these types:
- Inspection equipment for measuring components
- Cutting equipment such as jigsaws and water jets
- Assembling machinery like conveyors and automated assembly systems
Think about what kinds of manufacturing processes you need to support before purchasing tooling.
When trying to acquire new customers, it’s easy to jump right in and get going. But before you rush out and buy ads or blast emails, make sure you’ve defined your success metrics clearly. You don’t want to end up putting a lot of energy toward something that doesn’t have any tangible return on investment. If you haven’t already, sit down and define what success looks like for your sales efforts. It will help guide how much time and money you invest; if your target customer is more challenging to reach, you might need to budget more money. Once you have these clear metrics in place, determine an actionable way forward so you can track progress as you move forward with these plans.
To conclude, building a business from a lead to a customer is not easy. Still, it doesn’t have to be complicated either. These tactics can seem basic at first, but learning to build a successful relationship with your customers requires you to take it one step at a time. Remember that success relies on effective communication. Regular contact is one of the easiest ways to forge strong connections with your prospects.