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Best Practices


MARKET RESEARCH         What You Can Learn




How Market Research Can Help You Grow


Market research helps a business determine who to target and what messages will be most effective. Here are some ways that market research can help increase your sales.

1. What is most important to your customers?
A well crafted research script will reveal what’s most important to your customers and why they are purchasing from you. Often, businesses excel at exactly what their customers are looking for, but they don’t always include those selling points in their messages. When you know the two or three attributes that customers and prospects are most interested in, your message can be adjusted on your website, in your advertisements and company literature, and in your sales pitch. Customers will recognize immediately that you offer exactly what they are looking for.

2. What offers and contact methods will your customers respond to?
Effective research tells you exactly what offers will cause customers and prospects to purchase. Once a new customer makes one purchase, you have a reason to contact them and try to expand the types of purchases they make with your company. You can also find out what types of communication methods they will respond to—emails, sales visits, postcards and/or ads. Then, you can shift your marketing efforts to optimize your time and your budget to achieve much better returns.

3. Where are you ranked against your competitors?
Market research will show how the market ranks your company when compared to your competitors. Who is #1 in your market? Who is in the middle, and who is last? Where does your company rank?

Your sales team can target customers of companies who are considered less capable. Market research includes conducting surveys with prospects in your market to find out who they do business with. This kind of approach can also work in a sales effort. If they are doing business with a company that is considered less capable than yours, provide an offer that the research says will work to persuade them to try your company.



Market Research Case Study
Here is an example of how Winsby’s market research helped one company grow

Market Research Changed their Business
According to Dennis Heller, president of Stephenson Equipment, a Manitowoc dealer with seven locations in Pennsylvania and New York, market research ”changed the company’s culture”—especially the messages it was sending to their market.

With more than 50 percent of the crane buying decision based on product support, the dealer chose to promote parts and service in a way that emphasized uptime. Together with Winsby, Stephenson began crafting messages focused on what was most important to crane owners.

“We used to talk about how many millions of dollars of parts we had in inventory,” explained Heller. “Now we talk about our 24-hour fill rate.”

How the Research Was Implemented
Brochures for new products, rental and product support were updated with messages that customers would respond to, according to the research. Product support brochures now explain the dealer’s services, such as operator training, welding repair services, and reconditioning services.

“Why talk about the color of the machine, when you can talk about your ability to supply parts or how quickly you can turn around a repair,” advised Heller. “That’s the new dialogue.”

One of the top forms of communications that customers said they would respond to was emails. Topics included in the emails are things the customers and prospects said were important to them: OSHA regulations, changes to crane laws, and special promotions.

Results
Year-over-year parts sales rose 18 percent, service sales, 16 percent and new machine sales, 20 percent.





Find out How to Succeed Big with Market Research


Your customers’ needs and expectations may be changing, and the only way to find out exactly what they are is to ask your customers. An independent research project gives you all the answers to guide you clearly toward increases in your revenues. Here are some areas that would be helpful to explore.

What’s most important to your customers?
It’s easy to forget why your customers are interested in your products and services, because it’s so obvious to you. You need to remind them always that you are providing the things that are most important to them when they are looking to purchase what you offer.

When you need a part, for example, price is probably not the most important consideration. Delivery is what you care about, so quick delivery is always the selling point for parts.

Some people will argue, though, that it will always come down to the price. That’s true for some buyers, but it’s usually a very limited group; the average group of price buyers is around 20% in most types of products and services. Those buyers will always shop for the best price, so it’s a tough group to appeal to. But 80% of the market is looking for attributes that are most important to them. What are they?


Methodology
We’ll ask respondents to rate a series of attributes, then have them hone down their list of the most important ones to a handful. Then, we can have them provide their opinion of which in that smaller group are most critical to them, and compare them to each other. The result is that we have a very narrow group of attributes that your customers care most about when considering where and what they will purchase.

What offers will they respond to?
Easy! We’ll just ask, and in our experience they actually do respond to exactly what they said they would.

What type of communications do they react to?
Again, we’ll ask, and they will tell us. Imagine knowing in advance that a particular type of communication truly is the best way to maximize your sales.

Prepare your strategy
With the information from the research, you can lay out a strategy that you know will be successful. Your customers and prospects have told you what is important to them, what they will respond to, and how you need to reach them.

When you’re ready for easy, just call Winsby, and we’ll walk you through the steps toward success!