Ari Markowitz, Express Trade Capital
As a product manufacturer you are always considering ways to grow your company and get your products in front of the people who are most interested in purchasing them. There are several ways of approaching the sales process, and through this post we explore several of the most important.
Likely the most formal and most traditional method of reaching potential buyers for your products is through trade shows. Events like Moda, Mobile World Congress, and the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Expo are excellent ways of getting your products in front of hundreds if not thousands of prospective clients.
Trade shows offer exposure to an audience that is more interested and relevant to buying your products than any audience or venue. There will be buyers from multiple organizations walking around looking for products just like yours, and they will be interested in speaking with you to either set up a meeting or learn more. It’s a strong way of breaking into an industry and reaching the right people at the right time.
The downsides to a tradeshow can be burdensome however, and especially taxing on smaller companies. One of the most common problems with tradeshows is the cost. To have a booth and present at a tradeshow, you need to come prepared. Typical costs include registration fees for the actual booth, materials needed to show off your products, transportation and accommodation required to attend the show, the cost of amenities within the venue including things like Wi-Fi, and lastly the setup and teardown costs mandated by the venue staff.
Where traditional methods of getting your products in front of retailers may be inefficient and difficult to scale, online platforms allow the introduction process to yield a greater benefit.
Services like RangeMe, Maker’s Row, and ThomasNet bring suppliers and retailers together in an entirely new way, creating an easier method of introducing value to both parties. With modernization and the age of the internet have come new efficiencies that coincide with the transactional process between buyers and sellers. The other important benefit that comes from using services like these is the capture of data and potential application of that information across various analytics channels. This kind of data is important because it allows for better decision making across every element of a business and informs relevant stakeholders on where to focus to drive the greatest amount of value.
Unfortunately, digital aggregators also present the threat of competition, leading to marginalization of product portfolios. As multiple aggregators materialize, similar products are spread across each of them, thus requiring buyers to spend more time searching for your product and often causes them to overlook your product entirely.
Often, the best approach to reaching retailers and potential customers is multi-pronged. It’s more effective to try a combination of both tangible and digital methods in pitching to potential customers and expanding into what works best for you and your products. Having a presence in both types of media is important to reduce the risk of being overlooked, however, it’s certainly tenable to throw more resources at one method over another once you learn what’s best for you.
Having a multi-channel presence is also important because it encourages your business to explore all open opportunities. There are constantly new channels, platforms, and events that might be relevant to your business and having an open mind in exploring them is essential. Your competitors will fight just as hard to get in front of retailers, so it’s important to never let your guard down or get too comfortable in the notion that what you’re doing is enough.
This piece is intended to provide an opinion on how a business can best use its resources to grow. At Express Trade Capital, we work with hundreds of small businesses and entrepreneurs every year, and we are happy to provide a closer look at your business and how we can assist in your growth. You can reach out to us here.