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Trouble getting sales

Hi Everyone. I am a recent grad and work for a company that manufactures friction material (brakes for industrial, commercial vehicles, rail). I am having a bit of trouble with potential customers in the aftermarket industrial (rebuilders, distributors).

I have been initially contacting potential customers that I have qualified and know they use products like we manufacturer. I can get the decision maker on the phone and initially I ask them about their business and what products they use so I can send them some information about our company and some samples.

My problem, after following up regarding the samples, info, pricing...I am having trouble getting any sales. I know our pricing is competitive (allow them higher margins when they resell it) and our products are of high quality but I am unable to get many sales from these guys, they like to nit pick us for our "specialty" products that they cant get anywhere else but wont buy other products that are competitive in price and quality and are available immmediately. I keep getting a line similar to "business is slow" "we dont need anything right now," "satisfied with our current supplier" and I have gotten these lines for over 6 months. Granted I have had some success, I have had new customers order on the spot and have had success at the OEM level, but I'd say 70% of the aftermarket industrial people I talk to are initially happy and like the pricing, etc then they get cold feet all of the sudden and I know they are using material from someone because I have visited some and they are busy. I am not sure if this is because of my approach? I am not sure what I am doing wrong.

Any thoughts on how I can get these guys to order products and build a long term business relationship with them? - by rrsales21
......I ask them about their business and what products they use so I can send them some information about our company and some samples.
That is not a solid objective. Sending samples and information does not build relationships at an efficient or effective level.

You need to redefine your objectives at each stage of your selling process. - by Gary A Boye
... I ask them about their business and what products they use so I can send them some information about our company and some samples...

...My problem, after following up regarding the samples, info, pricing...I am having trouble getting any sales.
In your opinion, under what circumstances would the process you described above yield the outcome(s) you desire?

Example: The prospect was desperately searching for a specific part, you stumble across him/her and by coincidence have that very part?

The above was just a gross example but give some thought to my original question and let me know what you come up with. - by Jeff Blackwell
Mr. Boye, thank you for the comment. As I think about it you are correct, it isnt effective and that is the reason I am getting a lot of the 'we will keep it on file, etc'

Do you have any suggestions to where I can get some direction to redefine the objectives? The company I work for does not have any formal training but is willing to pay for classes, etc.


Mr. Blackwell, the process I described would only be effective if they are looking for something in particular, this is why I have only gotten orders for the specialty products. The products I am trying to sell to these rebuilders they can use on multiple jobs and keep the items in stock. They are usually rolls of friction material cut to various widths in different thicknesses. There are 5 competitiors in the US who produce similar products, not to mention the material out of China or South America that is not high quality. Do you have any suggestions to how I can redefine my approach or something I should try? Maybe there are a few books worth reading or a class?

Thank you both for your comments and suggestions.

-Mike - by rrsales21
Do you have any suggestions to how I can redefine my approach or something I should try? Maybe there are a few books worth reading or a class?
This weekend I was given a book titled, "The Accidental Salesperson" by Chris Lytle. Based on the scenario you have described I would strongly recommend you get your hands on that book and master the material presented. How bad do you want to know the answers to your questions? The book is not expensive and is a fast read. Would you be willing to invest a few dollars and a few hours of your time to get those answers? - by Jeff Blackwell
Twenty some years ago for just a few months I sold drain opening powder and septic tank cleaner. Little