What you need to know about selling to your target sector: Series

IMG_4124 (1)Welcome to the first of our Selling Series!
Each month, Icebreaker will give you some inspiring insights and background information on selling a particular service to a specific sector.

One of the great things about working for a new business consultancy, which helps many different types of agency find and win new clients, is that over the years you work with clients in many fields and target a wide range of markets. You get to try lots of different propositions, diverse new business approaches, and speak to everyone from charities to fashion, learning a great deal along the way. This is the exciting part of our job: getting an insight into how many different sectors work.

When we start working with a new client, we need to make a decision about who to target pretty early. A typical scenario is that they have strong experience in a handful of sectors and it usually makes sense to target those sectors first.

Then we need to define the proposition and key messages and decide how to get these in front of the right decision makers.

But, there are other considerations on deciding who to target. We want to get to the first big win as quickly as possible so factors like market maturity, size, average budget, trading cycles, etc., all play a part. And getting the messages right, and in front of the right people at the right time is easier said than done. You’ll get there a lot quicker if you know a bit about the sectors you’re about to target, but even if you know a sector well, it is easy when putting a sales strategy together to forego best practice and just plough ahead without proper consideration of the landscape.

It pays to consider all the factors at play. Two examples – retail and travel. Retail has peak trading at Christmas, and has lots of entry points such as loyalty, ecommerce/digital, marketing, customer services, spending on campaigns, websites and so on. But it also has many niches – DIY, fashion, leisure – all with unique characteristics and all of whom will respond to different propositions. Contrast that with travel; a train company is concerned with different traveller types such as business travellers, weekend leisure travellers and sells tickets all year round whereas a family focused tour operator wants to reach Mum’s and does the majority of their business in late December/early January.  Even within the sub-sectors, different department heads will respond to different propositions and there is no one size fits all.

So, this is the first in a series of posts that aims to uncover some of the issues in the sectors we touch on.

Each month we’ll cover a different sector, often from the angle of selling a particular service. We hope it gives you some background information and maybe a few insights that will help guide your planning and give direction on where you are likely to find success.

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