Archive for January, 2009

Before You Attack a New Market

20.01.2009 No comments

As you expand your business beyond your initial territory, anticipate an expensive launch.

I believe that sales in always best when done locally, but not for the reasons you might expect.  I am forever hearing customers and salesmen explain that “this market is completely different within our market”; however, I usually discover that the real differences are minor and few.  Yet, knowing these subtle differences is almost as important as knowing the industry/technology in general and therefore local sales is a necessity.  Why?  My theory is that people like to know that others cannot do their job better than they do it.  There is comfort in knowing that only “special” people can work in this market.  If they could use outside products/services, then they might also be replaceable.  They form a ‘club’ of insiders and create special terminology that exclude others.  (any organization that loves acronyms and otherwise naming things is likely this type) By understanding and highlighting these “special” features of their industry/market, you demonstrate that you are an insider that understands and respects their daily struggle.

Whenever I expand markets with an existing product(or service offering), I often think about the Silicon Valley cliche that “every problem is an opportunity”‘.  The problem is that you are walking into this new market without any credentials and  that everyone will view your first approach with suspicion.  Until you can get a few reference customers, it is going to be an expensive, slow battle.  You will need to exhibit at lots of events, employ lots of lead creation techniques (like cold calling) and be very patient.  Most recognize, but underestimate, this problem and nearly all miss the opportunity of a new market entry. So there is a problem with entering a new market, but is there an opportunity associated with being “undereducated and unknown”?  Answer– yes, you are a threat to no one.

Read more…