With the ever-expanding responsibilities of a facility manager and the economy that requires cutbacks in operations and maintenance, facility executives became a time-starved audience – always on the go and impossible to get a hold of.
Which naturally makes selling products and solutions to facility managers, at best, challenging.True, the situation requires a serious shift in the marketing approach and presents solution providers with a fair load of homework, but where there’s a will, there’s a way!The starting point is a profound multi-dimensional understanding of the end user: where do they put their trust and why, what do they value, where and how do they connect with their peers, how do they find out about building products and solutions, and why do they prefer certain brands over others.To connect with facility managers you will also need to demonstrate a great understanding of their time limitations and the issues of importance to them Here are some tips on how to become the supplier of choice for the busy facility executives:
Enable connection between peers – consider hosting an online forum or a LinkedIn group, where you can enable productive dialogues between FM colleagues, simultaneously giving yourself the opportunity to interact with facility managers, study their needs, and learn firsthand what drives their decisions. If your time is limited, join one of the existing forums/groups and monitor it and participate. Which takes us to the next point.
Networking is a must – in todays market no one gets a significant sale out of the Yellow Pages. It’s meeting people and building business relationships that provides you with referrals and gets you in the door. Consider networking through relevant social media outlets, memberships in the major associations, or during industry’s events. Makethe right connections with the right people to expand your business or increase sale. The bottom line is – network, but do it wisely!
Present yourself less as salespersons and more as helpful source. Although facility managers often have no time to spare, they still want to stay up to date with the latest technology and best practices and they still need to source for services. They key is to provide 2 in 1 – educate them on the latest solutions that will make their life easier while marketing your products. A good way to do that is arranging ‘Lunch-n-learns’ (incorporating tablets) to increase knowledge on product, trends or solutions.
Take advantage of the Online modules. Available through websites such as the International Facility Management Association and BlueVolt, online modules are a valuable way for suppliers to reach out to facility managers, employees and distributors and are a prime example of how media has shifted and filled the needs of a target audience. Those online resources are useful tools to gain and renew accreditations without having to miss work to receive classroom instruction.
Stay tuned to trends and challenges in the industry and try to meet the evolving needs.
As in most areas of business today, many of the facilities are trying to reduce product costs and maximize productivity, in short – to do more with less. One key trend to meet cost, productivity, and consistency needs is the simplifying of the supply chain. Previously, FMs had to juggle getting supplies and equipment from multiple vendors. Today, they can streamline procurement with large, holistic suppliers and get everything they need from one source.
Have strong processes in place to effectively measure service performance and client satisfaction.
According to International Facilities Management Association, one of the more significant missed expectations as communicated by various clients across multiple market segments continually revolves around the same premise, namely, that service providers lack a well-documented, quantifiable, and objective process to measure service.
How do you know whether or not you are fully aligned with your customers in overall cost, quality, delivery, and safety performance? What the clients want to see are steady improvements through objective metrics, deliver that and you will get increased longevity in the client relationship. (Further reading: What every service provider must know)
You can find more ‘trends to use with facility managers’ in this whitepaper
Check out this unique opportunity to spend to days meeting one-on-one with up to 30 pre-qualified and actively souring Healthcare Facilities Executives.