Written by Sean McPheat |
Just before Christmas, I received a really good question from Stuart who asked:
“I am a manufacturer sales person and my products are sold through distribution to customers, who then convert them into the finished product for their customer – the eventually end users.
We are going through a process of trying to get our product spec’d by the eventually end user. What is the best way of doing this? We are trying to communicate with the end user themselves, but it is having limited success. How do I get an end user to say that product x must be made from material supplied by manufacturer A or I am not going to buy it?”
Great question Stuart, what you need is to offer an ethical bribe!
If you can get hold of the contact details of the end users direct then you need to give them an ethical bribe to help you! You can do this by offering them something in return for helping you with your market research. It’s got to be something of real value though. You could approach one of your distributors and do a deal with them to offer x% off their next purchase or you could give them something.
You need to work out what this information will be worth to you in the long run. If it’s worth thousands then you can “give away” some real juicy gifts for the help like weekend’s away etc.
I once received 3 months worth of Fosters for helping them with some “market research” once! 🙂
But you need to position it as market research and you need to include all different types of questions to really profile their needs.
Now if you have not got any contact details of the end users then you need to do the same process but with your distributors.
Information is a valuable commodity. Work out what the info is worth to you in the long run. It could be worth thousands or tens of thousands if you can receive exactly the answers you need. And then get the good ole ethical bribe out in exchange for “market research”
Originally published: 22 February, 2010