Over the course of the next four Monday's, guest blogger Roger Burnett will present arguments to support the notion of specialization among Promotional Products distributors.
Specialization is an often misunderstood and frequently misused term. When someone deems themselves a “specialist”, the designation often revolves around the concept of “promotional marketing” or “experiential marketing”, with the self-appointed “specialist” promoting themselves as some version of “the creative idea provider for promotional marketing needs”.
Frankly, that’s not good enough. There are far too many businesses out there with unique needs requiring a higher degree of understanding from the purported “marketing specialist”. If you take the generalists position when discussing these needs with business owners, your lack of expertise reveals itself in short order. Worse, your credibility takes a hit when it becomes apparent to said owner that your “expertise” will only be relevant with a time investment greater than they originally were counting on – this is only (insert derogatory promotional products term here) to them, after all, and the value of your contribution immediately feels less valuable than the amount of time required to “dial you in”.
Have you ever thought: “I could be of so much more value to them if they would just spend more time with me”?
If you can’t quickly arrive at an understanding of the situation presenting itself to your prospect, your value diminishes, and with it the ability to realize real profits are almost immediately dashed, leaving you with the painful and tedious price battle that frequently ensues.
Specialization creates a path to the efficient recognition of client issues, and your ability to quickly present effective solutions expands exponentially. Your expertise HAS TO extend to their business, not the field of marketing as a discipline.
Imagine your next new prospect appointment where you’re armed with an arsenal of real solutions to their problems you could present in that first call:
How would those discussions change if you eliminated all of the subsequent back and forth between the discovery call and the order?
How many more orders could you write if you eliminated most of that interim activity?
How many orders would you NOT lose on price if you presented tried & true solutions with tangible & measurable results based on countless other businesses just like the prospect before you?
None of this is possible without the time and specificity of purpose required to develop specialization. Until you decide to develop this type of expertise, remember the clock ticking in the prospects head while you struggle to get to the bottom of their needs.
In addition to his role as Director of Team Sales for LEGACY Global Sports, Roger Burnett is the self-proclaimed Maintenance Supervisor for the Worldwide Negativity Defense System. A gardener by marriage, Roger also has a keen eye for marketing and is a founding chef of PromoKitchen. Next time you see Roger at an industry event, share a craft beer or bourbon with him – his laugh is infectious.