How to be a tank terminal sales pro in the digital age
Taking Know-Like-Trust to the next level in the tank terminal industry
Once you have determined your market, identified your ideal customer profile, and gotten your online marketing strategy on its way, you can then take your sales efforts to the next level by actively connecting to potential sales prospects. This is where social media and an industry database with contact details of active prospects can clinch the deal you are looking for. By following this two-pronged approach, you will be able to accelerate the “know-like-trust” process and turn lead generation into increasingly higher sales numbers.
Mining your sales prospects will primarily be digital in the future
The past year will be the year everything changed for many businesses and the tank terminal sector is not immune to these changes. Industry events where previously most lead generation occurred have either been canceled, postponed, or moved to a hybrid format with a limited number of attendees present and the rest attending virtually. The Covid-19 crisis has meant that companies can no longer drag their feet into the behavioral change of doing business digitally. Companies must now embrace this way of conducting business at an unprecedented pace in order to survive in the global marketplace. This is especially true for equipment suppliers in the tank terminal industry where potential leads can be located anywhere in the world.
Generating leads through the online marketing funnel
As you pull your potential customers through the online marketing funnel, you simultaneously accompany them through the “know-like-trust” process which is essential to any business relationship and predates the digital age. The “know” phase of this process takes place through your company’s online branding such as advertising and article placement in respected industry online channels. Well-placed advertisements, articles and blogs that are geared to the needs of your target audience should generate engagement on online channels such as Linkedin or industry email newsletters and blogs. By engaging with the people who like or comment on your online content, you will be endearing potential customers to your company. This is the “like” phase in the “know-like-trust” process and crucial to nurturing your potential customer into the “trust” phase. This part of the process will require the most time and effort on your part, but if done well, your investment should always pay off.
Combining online reactions with contact details of active prospects
Once you receive a reaction to your online content, whether it is a comment, a simple “like”, the registration for an email newsletter, or a registration to attend a webinar offered by your company, you will have the name of the person and potential lead. Always respond promptly to a reaction online to nurture the business relationship. From there you can start endearing your potential lead to your business. Sometimes their contact information is available on Linkedin which can be a good source of basic information to start with. Industry databases such as TankTerminals.com can offer you more thorough contact information when social media sources are lacking, and more in-depth information about the company they work for. This information is key to moving on to the “trust” phase in the relationship with your potential customer.
Mining the data and making the connection
The information in an industry database is particularly valuable when you are gathering information about potential customers. Not only will you be able to access contact information so that you can connect with them directly, you will also be able to access critical information about their company, locations where they operate, type of business they are in, potential challenges they face, and what they specialize in. This information is important to have before you contact them. It will demonstrate to the potential customer that you have invested time and effort into researching them and the needs of their business before you contacted them. It always makes a good impression when you have done your homework ahead of time. This will help you bring your lead from the “like” phase into the “trust” phase because it shows you understand your potential customer’s time is valuable, too, and you do not want to waste it.
Customer experience will always pay off
Even if the contact turns out to be someone you will not be able to make an immediate sale to, by investing time in nurturing the relationship with an industry peer, that person can provide you with valuable leads or even recommend your company to someone else in the industry. Whoever you are in contact with, if the experience of your company is positive, it will pay off somewhere in the end.
More than ever this is time to make direct contact
With the future of so many industry events in limbo, and after a year of working online almost exclusively, many potential leads will be more open to direct communication from you than is usually the case. This is time to combine your online marketing strategy with direct contact. If you have prepared ahead of time, however, any contact you make will not be cold. In fact, it should be a warm lead by the time you make direct contact because you have more information about the potential customer through online interaction and resources. By continuing the interaction online and offline, you can nurture the relationship into the “trust” phase and ensure they are a returning hot lead.
The information in this article was gathered from the tankterminals.com database platform, where information on market players globally is just a few clicks away.
For more information, contact: Michael Muijen, Marketing & Sales Manager at Insights Global by following this link.