Today’s Aerospace and Defense Supplier is missing the “boat”.
I just finished another phone conversation with the CEO of a mid sized R&D manufacturing company in the aerospace and defense industry. This was my 3rd or 4th call this month with the same lament; “where has the business gone? My sales are flat, and I am pushing my sales team as hard as I can, but to no avail.”
I have received so many of these calls over the last year that I’ve decided to put together this short blog post to voice my opinion on the subject.
First, traditional sales and marketing is passé. No longer is a prospect listening, nor available for your “unwelcome phone call, email, cold call, etc. etc. They have been “interrupted too many times in the past” and have tuned you out, and quite frankly are too busy. Most don’t answer their phone, nor their email. Nope, not even a beautifully designed catalog delivered via “snail mail” gets their attention. They are all shouting………STOP CALLING ME; …..STOP SENDING ME YOUR CATALOG; ……STOP EMAILING ME………I am not interested!!!!!
Now you may be wondering what has changed and furthermore, why the attitude.
In one word……………INFORMATION. Information that is available all the time, everywhere, and anywhere. They are all “online” learning, exploring, and yes, …buying. The buyers and customers of today are utilizing this abundance of “self-serve-information” to learn about and research solutions for their problems and needs. The advance of digital and social media has changed the traditional sales and buying process.
This change is both good and bad for the traditional company and it’s sales team. It’s good because studies have shown that the prospect that approaches you is 50%-60% “sold” (they’ve done the research, so there is no need to educate them about your company, service or product). The bad aspect of this is, that it takes more time from the seller’s perspective.
Armed with this knowledge, where and what do you think a manufacturing company should be investing in as it pertains to their sales, marketing, and new business strategy? I will give you a hint: Go to where your customers are, and give them what they want. They are online doing research and learning. Jay Baer, in his book “Youtility” says “If you want to succeed in a world where the balance of marketing power has swung dramatically in favor of the customer, you need to become a YOUtility.” You need to help your customer learn and be helpful.
With 30+ years of sales and marketing experience, Barry Neighbors has been helping Aerospace and Defense Suppliers with their unique Sales and Marketing needs for more than a decade. Contact us for help……..www.barryneighbors.com