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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 did I know with no training that I was in a simple way doing the right thing - I told people what I had and asked them if they wanted some.

In the early 1990s I sold long distance service which at that time was a deal at 7 cents per minute. I called up people I knew and stopped in mom & pop corner stores, said what I was selling and what it cost to get into the program, and asked them if they wanted it. In a couple of months I had 51 customers.

For fourteen years I've been in the direct sales/multi level marketing husiness with one company and after going through all the company training and everything else I could find it still comes back to first finding out if the person even wants what I have follwing a brief statement then question.

I know this is a simplistic answer and my experience in the world of sales is very limited. I also know there complex sales situations I've never been a part of and have no clue what they're all about or how they work.

Even in what I do today, there are times when the selling process includes materials to review and conversations of clarification.

Nevertheless, having sent out information in the past which cost me money in the form of my time and lost sales, I no longer do that - OK - I rarely do that and when I do it still is usually down the drain.

I need a clear assurance up front the person wants what I got and I can also direct him or her to the internet site. The clear assurance isn't 100% sold but close.

If I've missed the mark I'm sorry - I wanted to give some examples from my life in hopes that along with the other comments it helps you.

The best of success to you.

MitchM
- by MitchM
Hello Mike,

I guess that all your customers are selling on. In other words, what ever they might buy from you is sold to their customers.

This one liner is at the heart of our Selling through Partners programme. If your can stick with it, it will serve you well.

Stop trying to sell them stuff and start trying to help them grow their business.

It will take a while. When they begin to believe that you put their interests first, you will begin to win more business.

Selling is helping people do what they want to do.

Clive - by Clive Miller
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