Special thanks to to FriendinPetrochemicalIndustry for writing this guest article
Universal Truths of Selling: Know Your Market, Fill a Need and Follow Through
I am very proud of my longtime friend and his business partner who started this side business that combines their skills and passion to help people in West Texas offloading their Hard to Sell Assets.
As someone who has contemplated embarking on a similar endeavor (starting my own business) and has consulted with private business owners within the petrochemical industry for guidance, I would like to share several insights I was given and things i have learned along the way. These are generic guidelines that are applicable across multiple industries (and to one’s personal life as well):
Know your product / market
Knowledge of one’s product is important. If you can’t answer technical questions there at least should be someone within the company who can. Having technical knowledge will always differentiate somebody who is only pushing product by price. Aside from knowing a product’s use, knowing what alternatives there are and what the competition is promoting is also important. Keeping up with industry trends, prices, technologies and more is always helpful.
Fill a need / solve a problem
There are many deciding factors when purchasing decisions are being made, among them: price, quality (includes a product’s reliability, reputation and lifespan), lead time, and much more. These factors apply to purchasing a car or home and in the business sector. Yes, price matters, but it is not the only factor. What customers need and want is for their need(s) to be met and/or problem(s) to be resolved. Ask your customer about problems they are facing and what they are looking for. Present them with options and explain to them what your product or solution does for their problem(s).
If there is no need for a product, it can’t be given away (e.g., non-Texas Tech merchandise in Red Raider Nation).
As you help your customers out by filling their needs and solving their problems one becomes indispensable and one’s reputation for getting results grows.
Keep your word / follow through
Many times people try to oversell their product and in the process make promises they can’t’ (or don’t intend) to keep. This hurts one’s reputation and business in the long run. As Warren Buffet famously said… “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”
Whether one is in real estate, retail, or other type of business, a lot of new business comes from referrals. Clear lines of communication and setting realistic expectations helps avoid unmet expectations (and losing recurring business). Never forget that your reputation is your currency.
Although these may be generic guidelines they are helpful reminders as to the core of a business that sells assets – meeting a customer or buyer’s needs. That really is the core of well-run businesses in every industry. I am glad to hear that hardtosellassets.com is meeting a need in the Permian Basin.