Saturating Vertical Markets14 Apr, 2003 By: Jay Wallus imageSource
Saturating Vertical Markets
Another "buzzword" that meant absolutely nothing to one of my top
clients until recently. Yet vertical selling is an important way to leverage the
strength of established relationships. This always makes it easier to build
sales for the "street smart" sales pro who understands how to
recognize and most importantly - use vertical selling to his/her advantage.
vertical. What does that mean? Simply, it means identifying and then leveraging
the living daylights out your current connections based on the vertical markets
that they represent.
All of us sell to a
wide variety of companies - from service industries and manufacturers to
professional agencies and more. Within each of these general categories, we may
have a number of companies that are in the same industry like law firms,
mortgage brokers, CPA firms, car dealerships etc. The fact that you sell to one
or two in each of these categories does not mean that you are burying the
vertical - not even close.
What will help you
is to call on current clients that are in the particular market segment that you
think offer a huge upside. Get a sense from them how many companies just like
theirs are in the specific geographical area that you want to chase. First you
have to figure out what makes them tick. o What is it about the way that your
company interacts or services your current client that makes them want to do
business with you? o What specific product or service are you delivering to them
that works well? o What trick or shortcut have you shown them that they
Problem Solving As
an example, when I was selling copiers on the streets of Boston, I had a client
that was a heavy hitter in the mortgage industry. One day while I was there, I
noticed that there was one person constantly punching two holes at the top of
specific mortgage industry documents after they were copied. After talking to
the owner, I found out that the person I had seen spent four hours every day
doing nothing but punching holes. He knew about copiers that had 3-hole punching
capabilities but had never seen one with a two-hole capability. The problem was
that I had never seen one either but, I knew if I could fix that problem, I
could close him on three 60 cpm systems.
I immediately called
the top tech at my company who said that he thought you could switch our sorter
to do two-hole punching but he wasn't sure. So, I chased down every engineer at
the OEM looking for an answer to my $3000 question: could I do 2-hole punching
at the top of legal size documents?
When the answer was
a confirmed yes, I (a) had a delighted customer and (b) realized that I had the
"keys" to the mortgage industry kingdom. All of a sudden, I could
"bury the vertical" because I had a money saving story I could tell
every mortgage broker within 25 miles of Boston. And that's exactly what I did!
Bottom line: I added $38,000 additional income to my W-2 thanks to mortgage
broker sales alone.
What clients do you
have in your database that present an opportunity for you to "Bury the
Vertical" and pad your W-2 in the process? It may be time to take a look,
unless, of course, you don't need the money.
Wallus is the founder of Street Smart Training Institute in Stoneham, MA. His
STREET SMART Training Program brings management together with salespeople in a
team environment. Contact Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781)