Advantages

Sales Boost: Step 2

FIND THE PERFECT NICHE

Delve into a strong niche market with the help of these strategies.

If you do, your list of clients is likely to lengthen.

• Think Local: The local economy exerts significant influence on the type of niche that will be best for you. A rep in New York City may find opportunity abounds with financial firms. Meanwhile, a distributor in Portland, OR, may be better positioned to capitalize on that city's robust craft beer market. Therefore, each sales pro should analyze what types of businesses are thriving locally. Then, think of value-adds you can bring these prospects that will help them accelerate their businesses. Lean on your current network to generate referrals.

• Explore Your Passion, Draw On Past Experience: Building strong relationships with buyers is essential to keeping them loyal. It's easier to make binding connections when you have common ground. So, seek out niches that match your life experience and interests – markets where you speak the same language as buyers. Some reps with a passion for music work with bands, DJs and nightclubs. Nurses turned promo pros make a nice living serving hospitals, health networks and pharmaceutical companies. Former teachers (and some current ones) cater to schools. One-time bankers build their sales with buyers in the financial services industry. The takeaway? Find a fit that's good for you.

• Market A Business-Building Message: Once you identify a niche, create a marketing message that's tailored for that market. Bolstering your brand identity, the message should showcase the qualities that differentiate you from the competition. It should make it clear why you are uniquely able to help organizations in the niche achieve their business objectives. To develop this message, first consider ideal customers' pain points, needs and likely goals. After you establish a strong message, deliver it consistently in person and throughout your marketing channels.

Case Study: Manufacturing Success

For Howard Schwartz, pursuing business in the manufacturing sector made sense. With heavy equipment manufacturers operating in his area, Schwartz knew that if he could impress a client or two in this field, he could leverage the performance to partner with even more manufacturers, creating a snowball effect that would increase revenue.

Schwartz's strategy worked. These days, the CEO of HDS Marketing (asi/216807) generates about 15% of his business from manufacturers. He provides a variety of solutions. There are branded incentives that encourage employees to adhere to safety protocols. There are also items for trade shows and gifts for salespeople to give out. The products he delivers are diverse. They include apparel like sweatshirts and workwear jackets for the safety incentive programs. "It's been steady business," says Schwartz.

 The seasoned sales ace has advice for other promo pros eager to break into a new niche: Look for opportunities in your area and deliver stellar service. "It's about being consistent in what you do and proving to your customers that you're the best partner for them," says Schwartz.

Watch This :
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video for tips from the retail world that can be adapted to help you better understand the specific needs of buyers in a niche market. http://goo.gl/XWBF1d

Read This :
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The Customer Store by Martin Gould for tips on how to find the best customers for your business.

ACTION ITEMS
❑ Research a niche market to target.
❑ Identify several organizations in that niche that would make ideal customers.

Continue to Step 3      Go Back to Step 1