You may be traveling to see family this Thanksgiving holiday. Chances are you are going to see a relative that you have not seen since last year or even longer. And, let’s be honest, you may have not thought of this relative since the last time you helped do the dishes together. It is also likely she has not thought of you, either. When the contact with someone is this infrequent, it is awkward to strike up a conversation.
Once a year relative – “Well, his probation officer says he can’t get back together with his old friends now that he is out. I’m pretty happy about that.”
You – “Let me dry that gravy boat for you.”
You may or may not have a strong motivation to rekindle your relationship with these relatives. That depends on how terrible you feel when you have just put your foot in your mouth.
Why would we go to this awkward place at the Fathom Blog? Because marketing manufacturing is basically a relationship and relationships are not good if they are not maintained. For low investment, transactional purchases the relationship may be OK if it is minimal. But in more complex sales cycles and longer lead times (not to mention average order size) we typically see with our manufacturing clients it is important to build trust. Chances are a competitor will be comparable in a product specification and maybe even in delivery. Everybody makes quality claims. How then do you build trust? Communicate.
Don’t just communicate when you know the prospect is “hot.” Communicate when there is information that will let your contact hear about a new regulatory threat. Communicate when you will be in a trade show in their area. Communicate when you see a trend in another industry and can apply it to yours.
All this communication is practical by automated email. You may think of it as lead nurturing or marketing automation. All of this communication is essential to differentiate yourself from the competition. Importantly, it can help a prospect turn into a client when the time is right.
This is not secret (cranberry) sauce. In short, don’t let your company be that relative that is easy to forget until next Thanksgiving.
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