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Selling to manufacturers? 3 Ways To Inspire Confidence in Your Services

Posted by IndustrySelect on Monday, October 21, 2019



In manufacturing, the clients most in need of an upgrade are often also the clients most resistant to change.

Resistant clients (particularly those with small or medium-sized operations) are a recurring barrier for sellers in the manufacturing industry.

The amount of capital required to purchase new manufacturing technologies and machines can be daunting for clients, particularly those with an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality.

Today, we'll be covering how you can identify potentially tricky clients and build their confidence in your services.

How to Identify Resistant Clients

Here are some tell-tale signs of resistant or difficult clients:

- They insist their project is easy. Particularly in the manufacturing industry, no project is ever straightforward. Any change to the production pipeline can have lasting ramifications on every other aspect of the production process. If a potential client tells you a job is a piece of cake, don't be too quick to take them at their word.

- They're unresponsive or vague about deadlines. Few things will derail a job more quickly than a client who can't commit to deadlines.

- They hound you at every corner. If a client legitimately has a tight budget, negotiating with them may be worthwhile. However, clients who nitpick your rates or services constantly aren't doing so in good faith.

- They have a reputation for being difficult. If you get a client who tells you that they had to fire the last ten SAAS providers because none of them could "do it right," look out.

Barriers to Success in Manufacturing B2B Sales

B2B providers in the manufacturing industry commonly run into two major barriers when dealing with clients:

- The client has been using their current machines for an extended length of time and isn't convinced your product or service could significantly expedite their production pipeline.

- The client is resistant to invest in new technology because they worry about having to re-train workers and the budget impacts of integrating a new technology into the production process.

These concerns often manifest in difficult behavior from clients. For example, if a client is worried about how expensive a new product is, they may try and price-gouge you constantly.

On the other hand, a client used to working with an old technology may nitpick your product or service.

It's important to understand that often the client isn't trying to be malicious when they display such behavior. The price-gouging client is probably just worried they aren't getting the best bang for their buck.

The nitpicking client probably just wants to make sure your product or service is really better than the one they're currently using.

How to Increase Confidence in Your Services

Understanding how to deal with these clients can help increase client confidence in your services. Here are a few tips:

1. Use reflexive listening to make sure the client feels understood. Reflexive listening involves reflecting a client's concerns, so they know you appreciate their issues.

For example, if a client says, "we have a tight budget and this product is too expensive," respond with "I understand that our pricing is a barrier for you, let's talk about that."

Clients often start acting difficult when they feel a project is getting away from them or they're losing control. Reflexive questioning can help address these concerns.

2. Address their root concerns. If a client insists, "there has to be a catch," that behavior probably didn't develop overnight. Chances are they were scammed at some point and are wary of new investments for that reason.

Assuage these fears by tackling the root concern. For example, say, "I understand; can you tell me why you're skeptical of our product or service?"

3. Be fact-focused. If your client is a good business leader, their resistance to new technology should evaporate with enough evidence. Have case studies and ROI calculations on hand at all times so you can quantify the value of your product or service to your clients. Having evidence of how your services outperform your competitors will increase the value of your offerings.

Dealing with resistant clients is never simple, but the best practices we've covered should allow you to deal with demanding clients effectively while simultaneously increasing their confidence in your services.

Find Your Best Clients With IndustrySelect

If you're struggling to identify the right potential clients for your brand, IndustrySelect can help. IndustrySelect subscribers can get up to 30 data points to help them identify and pre-qualify the best leads. Profiles also include the names, titles, and email addresses for hard-to-reach executive decision-makers. All IndustrySelect is hand-verified by MNI's 80-person data research staff, and the IndustrySelect data sales team can provide your business with thoughtful strategies for working with IndustrySelect data. To learn more or to start your free demo, visit our website

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