Marketing and sales can be tricky if you don’t understand your customer. Nobody wants to do business with a company that’s too busy pushing their own agenda to consider what customers actually want.

In short, if you don’t understand your customers, they’ll go somewhere else. The question is, then, what will capture the attention of your prospects? And what will make them choose the competition?

What Do Prospects Want from Manufacturers?

The most important thing your prospects are looking for is understanding. If you can’t show that you understand your customers’ pain points, people will have no confidence in your products and services.

Buyers must also have trust before they can make a purchasing decision. With so much of the buying process being completed on the web–and without any sales reps present–establishing trust can be tricky, but it’s crucial. Trust can be built with content: blogs, ebooks, case studies, testimonials, videos.

When you help people find the information they are looking for without going in for the hard sell, they’ll start to believe that you’re genuinely interested in solving their problems, not just looking at your own bottom line.

Think About a Brand Story

More than just a feel-good way to talk about yourself, stories have been scientifically proven to make emotional connections with other people. While manufacturing might not be seen as an emotional business, establishing trust is. That’s because people have to expose themselves just a bit when they choose to trust a company, and that vulnerability is loaded with emotion–even if it’s a business decision.

Today’s customers also want to know who you are. They want to know why you do what you do. More and more, people are choosing to buy from companies that they can relate to; companies that are full of real people.

A brand story will help you overcome the look and feeling of being a faceless building. It will humanize your brand and give customers real people to connect with and believe in. Your brand story doesn’t have to be an epic narrative. Instead, think about your audience and tell a story about how your company got started, what made it grow, how you care about the community, and how important your customers are. Talk about the people who work there. Keep it simple, and your customers and prospects will feel the love.

What Sends Prospects Running to the Competition?

Remember, your customers don’t rely on sales pitches anymore. People are not interested in advertising that barges in or pushy salespeople. Here is what you must avoid to keep your prospects engaged:

  • Talking More, Listening Less. While the key to success is providing lots of content full of useful information, your prospects aren’t interested in having their time monopolized with your agenda. Instead, listen to what your customers and prospects want to know and what their problems are, and then put the answers out there for people to engage with on their own time.
  • Pushing Your Product. People know what you’re selling. They should be able to find out everything they need to know about your products from your website. There’s no need for the hard sell. Instead, be informative and helpful and gently nudge the customer toward the sale.
  • Being Boring. If there’s nothing that sets you apart from the competition, then there’s no reason for someone to choose you over them. Don’t just look at what others are doing and try to copy it. Instead, show people how you’re different and give them a compelling reason to choose you.

Success in marketing relies on understanding your audience: their worries, problems, and frustrations. It’s also essential to put those fears to rest by reaching people the right way at the right time. If you’re struggling to make connections with your customers, we can help! We have experience helping manufacturers–particularly building materials manufacturers–reach their audience and meet their goals. Contact New Perspective to get started.

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