Many times in business, as we examine our existing customer base, we notice that there’s either a particular industry (vertical) from which we tend to get a lot of business, or there’s one from which we tend to get very little. So perhaps you’ve pondered the question, “What’s the best way to get more business from an industry?”.
Here are two techniques that should help you gain more business from an industry in which you want to increase your presence:
Exhibit at (or sponsor) their events
You may have tried exhibiting at general-interest trade shows in the past. Chambers of Commerce and other associations often organize area trade shows at which hundreds of local vendors exhibit and ply their wares. In my experience, these are not necessarily effective ways to spend your time or your marketing budget. Instead, turn your attention to industry-specific events — smaller seminars, luncheons, continuing education events — where all of the attendees are a part of the industry you’re trying to penetrate. Look for opportunities to exhibit at these events, even if that means you will have nothing more than a table-top display. Inquire about sponsorship opportunities, as well. You’ll find that your audience is more focused and your time (and money) better spent. Also, sponsoring events such as these goes a long way toward building credibility and trust — you won’t be seen as just “another vendor” in the exhibit hall.
Join their organizations and associations
Oftentimes, an industry’s professional association or membership organization will offer a category of “affiliate membership” to persons or businesses who, while not part of the industry, provide services to that industry. An example from my own experience has been the lawyers’ local Bar Association — it offers membership to students and interns, as well as businesses that serve the legal profession with products or services. Membership entitles you to attend the same events as (and network with) precisely the people you want to meet.
Use these techniques to help separate you from your competitors, and you may find that engaging with prospects in your chosen industry will become more rewarding.