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Thursday, June 13, 2024

New Copier Salespeople: Verticalize Yourself

Ever felt like you’re speaking a different language than your prospects? Welcome to the power of verticalization. To some, this will seem obvious — picking a vertical market and becoming the best at recognizing and applying services to solve industry-specific challenges, using and understanding the common language or jargon, and knowing when to proceed down the selling journey.

Before we start talking tactics, there is a great article over on Workflow. It gathers insights from industry professionals Erica Calise (Sharp), Mark Hart (ACDI), Jim Mooney (Ricoh), and Brent Wesler (PiF Technologies) on the potential and nuances of different vertical sectors like non-profit organizations, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, banking, insurance, financial services, and education. I recommend you check it out and save it to your Evernote.

For the new or seasoned copier salesperson, why verticalize?

First, you deal from a position of strength and experience. Second, you narrow down the universe of learning possibilities. You can’t know all things for all people, but you can become knowledgeable in one industry. Third, you will close more opportunities.

Let’s break it all down.

Step one: Identify the specific niches where your dealership has successfully sold solutions.

This is the simple task of reviewing the dealership’s customer list and looking for common clients. For instance, if you see multiple tow truck companies, your dealership may already be thought of as a tow truck company specialist. Same with HVAC, manufacturing, wholesale distribution, etc. Find a common industry within the dealership’s current client list. A word of caution here: government, education, churches and print shops should NOT be considered a vertical unless you are hired as a specialist in each niche. It isn’t that these areas present little profit, because that’s not true. It is more of an argument for exploring businesses that provide services for revenue. Just like you. 

Once you have this list, choose one or two, and chat with the salesperson who brought the deal in and the service technician who services the account. You do not need to get into the weeds; just spend 15 minutes talking about the sales journey and how the customer is using your solution. Are they happy? Has there been more service than normal? What business problems, if any, have been solved with your solution? 

Take notes and ask the sales representative if you can speak directly to the customer. Better yet, schedule a walk-through and get firsthand information.

The best sales tool here is what some refer to as third-party referrals. Once you have a clear idea of how your relationship has helped others in your prospect’s niche, by simply mentioning these projects, you establish credibility by working with their peers or even competition. This is a very effective approach.

Step two: Focus on the right things.

Read the rest, here.

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