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    6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 14, 2008 10:45 AM by JoeReuth

    Target Market Question

    CarolinaIDinc Newbie

      Hello All,


      I am 25 and starting a S-Corp. in North Carolina. My company works with Industries / Manufactoring Sites. I already have some clients, but I want to branch out and offer my services to other sites that may need some work done. I do Predictive / Preventative Maintenance - Consulting. (Ultrasonic Testing, Vibration Analysis, Temperature Monitoring, Oil Analysis, etc. on site-specifc motors to better predict when the life of the subject motor is nearing its end). Also, I do Infrared Scans, Roof Leak Scans, Sound Surveys, Thickness Testing, etc...

      Now, my target market is very difficult. I usually deal with plant managers and/or maintenance heads. Often very difficult to get a chance to give your pitch due to: 1) time withstraint on their part (setting up a meeting)
      2) do not read "junk mail" (Mail a brochure)
      3) no budget to advertise on TV or Radio

      Also, keep in mind that these specific people that I need to reach are difficult to get contact information to begin with, much less get your sale pitch across to them.

      Any Ideas on how to reach this genre of my target market? Any innovative techniques to better design my brochure?
        • Re: Target Market Question
          intechspecial Ranger

          It is always easier if your target market comes to you, rather then trying to get in front of them.

          What industry's are parallel to yours, that could offer a back door for you to get involved with the plant managers, maintanence, etc?

          Have you had any promotional fundraisers that offers a way to help a cause in your community? You could call upon the execs of some of the corporations to help you with your support of this cause(children in need, donation to local hospital, etc).

          Make sure your motive is to try and support a cause so that you can have a positive impact on the community. Keep in the back of your mind that you may or may not generate interest in what you are doing. Know that even if it does not generate business, you have made a positive impact on the communtiy.

          A good fisherman never tries and find a good fishing spot. He watches very closely where the other fisherman are getting could catches from. He also pays attention to how they fish, watching for mistakes and things they do that he does not do as well. After a thorough analysis of the competition's practices, he makes sure to get up a 4am and not 5am to have the prime fishing spot.

          FInally, it is always easier for a lion in the jungle to sit back and wait for game to come to the watering hole. He could spend days with his pride searching for a meal, potentially losing some or all of his pride searching.

          • Re: Target Market Question
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Target Market Question, Welcome

            You received a GREAT answer from intechspecial. It really is a question of marketing and
            everybody sees marketing a little differently.

            Do you visit trade shows in your area?? Have you thought of having a table at the show??.
            Again as intechspecial said, that would bring future customers to you.

            Have you developed a Business and Marketing Plan?? Part of the marketing plan would include
            Identify customer demand ( is there any body else doing what you do)??
            Identify your market, including how your product / service will be advertised and marketed.

            SCORE has a FREE Virtual Learning Center with 26 FREE online courses including
            "Conducting A Marketing Analysis"

            Finally come up with a NEW or FREE idea. Have your local newspaper write an article or story
            about you and your company and there specific people (your target market) will be calling you.

            Good luck, LUCKIEST

            • Re: Target Market Question
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              You're right, it's hard to reach a plant GM -- but large plants have a PM department/manager, smaller plants have a Maintenance department/manager or at least a maintenance supervisor who reports to the plant engineer. Those are people you want to target. Beyond aiming at them with what you're already doing toward GMs, my suggestions are:

              1. Use the trade press. When you get positive results for one of your existing clients, work with your point of contact there to prepare a trade journal article, a professional association presentation, and a news release. You make yourself look good by making your client look good a in very public way. You want potential/future clients to keep seeing your name associated with other plant's successes.

              2. As an extension of that, develop a presentation yourself on something unique you do that has yielded documented results -- and then submit a paper or proposal to present it at national, regional, or chapter meetings of related professional associations. (Every client new client I had in my first three years as s consultant came in one of these two ways.)

              3. Hold an event. Book a hotel meeting room in an area that's central to some of your prospects and conduct a free seminar on "PM Best Practices" or something. Most of the maintenance managers I know would attend just for the refreshments and a chance to get off-site, and most plant managers would support their attendance if you give it a good title like that. Make the format of the seminar one where they (not just you) share their experiences and processes. Take notes so you can follow up -- especially with the ones who are having problems that you can help solve. (By the way, although it wasn't my intent intially, this is exactly how I ended up starting and running a training firm -- the free events I was holding to generate consulting leads were a lot of fun, I seemed to be pretty good at conducting them, and they began to draw so many people than it finally dawned on me I was sitting on another opportunity and revenue stream.)

              Hope some of those ideas are helpful to you. Best wishes.
              • Re: Target Market Question
                BOASBIZ Wayfarer

                CarolinaIDInc, You received terrific answers from both Lighthouse and Luckiest. These are simple and practical steps. Follow their contributions and you would be on your way to achieving your goal.


                All the best and welcome to the forum.
                • Re: Target Market Question
                  blitzlocal Adventurer
                  Traditional marketing doesn't work well in B2B, unless you have the money to exhibit at tradeshows and in industry magazines.
                  Best way is old fashioned networking-- and it's inexpensive.

                  small business marketing
                  • Re: Target Market Question
                    JoeReuth Newbie
                    Something you may have overlooked is asking for referrals. You mentioned you already have some clients. Have you asked them to refer you to their colleagues at the other plants? If you have not, try this approach. This is one of those examples of ask, and you shall receive.

                    I would also take one of your clients that you have a good rapport with out to a nice lunch and ask for advise on the best way to reach other plant managers or maintenance heads. The answer you receive may be the key that you're looking for.

                    Best of luck.

                    Joe Reuth