In speaking with many of our members, the phrase frequently being heard is, “We have business, but we would really like to utilize our ‘excess capacity.’ It would really make a big difference on our bottom line.”
With so many companies running as lean as possible, many managers forget how much time is involved in developing new and profitable customers.
As someone once said, "Anyone can sell a deadbeat that doesn't pay." The trick is to find customers who pay their bills who are also looking for a supplier to work as a partner to help them fill a need.
Many managers forget what is involved with having a customer who feels comfortable enough that they trust you to provide a solution to their supply requirements. After all, they have a relationship with their customer that has been established and is working well.
As someone once said, "if it ain't broke-why fix it?"
Manufacturers need to realize that a lot of time and effort is required to get a customer to break the status quo. Once the status quo is broken, it then takes time to earn their trust to become your customer's trusted advisor instead of an order taker or simple peddler.
Many companies have said in the past that they are extremely busy and are not interested in adding new orders to their backlog.
We continue to receive calls from members who have a request for quote but are too busy and ask the WPMA office if we can help the customer find a supplier.
That is an excellent position to be in for the short term, but long term it can be detrimental.
Many seasoned sales professionals have said it takes an average of just over one year to prove to a prospect that placing an order with them will benefit the prospective customer’s company as well as the company’s customer in the long term.
Savvy purchasing managers realize that the lowest price is not often the best price and sometimes the added buy-in they receive from a supplier can be worth all the money in the world.
It is important for companies, who are seeing their order files shrink, to understand that this is the time to put a major effort into expanding their customer base. Having too many customers is a good thing, having too few customers can be the death of even a long-established business.
To help WPMA members fill their "excess capacity," our office continues to advertise both in print and electronically, encouraging companies that are looking for a manufacturer for their product to contact our office.
We also exhibit at national trade shows to help generate additional requests for quotes that we post and distribute to our members. Many members let us know that they developed many long-term and profitable customers as a result of the requests we have distributed.
Two weeks ago, one member stated that because of one of our postings, they have developed a new customer that has generated "mid-six figures" in new business for their company in 2017.
Since 1929 the focus of the WPMA has been to help companies compete in a global economy.
For more information please contact Philip Bibeau, Executive Director at 978-874-5445.