For many contractors and manufacturers, being able to sell a facilities manager on their services efficiently would have a major impact on their bottom line. A facilities manager, after all, can be in a decision-making capacity for many different facets of their buildings, and indeed bay have purchasing power for huge systems of buildings. When you can become a trusted vendor, it makes all the difference.
But as you probably know, a facilities manager is not always the easiest nut to crack. If you want to know how you can get on the right level - and in the right mindset - to sell to facilities managers, keep reading.
Facilities Manager Challenges
As with most positions, there are a lot of challenges and headaches that come along with being a facilities manager, but perhaps none is quite so evident as time. Or lack thereof. Managing the operation of a system of buildings, no matter what the size of those buildings, is a huge job. Most people that go in and out of hospitals, universities, and office parks probably have very little idea how much goes into building, maintaining, and updating those buildings. Facilities managers must be able to wear many hats, which often means running from place to place to address a hundred different issues a day. In fact, one recent survey of 250 facilities managers found that the number one challenge they face is a lack of time.
A lack of time can be a difficult thing to deal with when it comes to traditional sales tactics. When someone barely has a moment to sit down, they are not going to want to spend that moment on the phone with a salesperson. That is exactly how education can work in your favor.
Why Education is Key
So what exactly do we mean by educating your prospects, anyway? Well, what we don't mean is dropping off a brochure or business card and hoping for the best. When we say education is fundamental, what we mean is spending time with facilities managers and their teams educating them about things that will help them work more efficiently, including but definitely not limited to your services. When you can offer an educational advantage to a facilities manager, he is going to be much more likely to let you have some of that precious time.
For example, if you want to sell energy efficient light bulbs to facilities managers, you can offer a webinar or seminar about how (and why) to run a greener facility. Not only will you put your brand in front of your target market, you will offer them something valuable other than a sales pitch, and that is what's important.
Use Content to Strengthen Your Message
The key to being able to offer these types of educational opportunities for facilities managers is creating content, the cornerstone of inbound marketing initiatives. Going back to the webinar example, it's unlikely that you would get someone to sign up for and attend a webinar unless they know who you are first. That's an educational opportunity for someone who is already aware of your brand and what you offer. You can start your education campaign with a few blog posts about the importance of an energy efficient facility, or an infographic about how much money energy efficient light bulbs can save a facility over ten years. This type of relevant, educational content that addresses the challenges of being a facilities manager is how you are going to generate more leads and ultimately make more sales.
How to Teach Your Way to a Sale
Don't look at education as a magic pill for selling to facilities managers. Rather, it is a chance for you to build your company's reputation as a thought leader in your field that is interested in more than (just) making a sale: you want to make the life a facilities manager easier. You want to save them time and money and make their facilities better. When you can cement that reputation, facilities managers will actually start coming to you and you will find that making sales becomes that much easier.
For more tips on selling to facilities managers, download our free eBook.