Know who your customer is

I had a meeting this morning in a hotel lounge as I often do and as I waited for my client I eavesdropped on the table beside me (again as I often do)

Beside me sat two gentlemen discussing where would be the best place to launch their ‘new and exciting’ cookware range. They were doing the google dance, listing down potential outlets for their gear.

Garden centres, hardware shops, cooks shops and restaurants were all jotted down but it was settled that the best places to start was the department stores and off they popped to the car to put together two samples sets to take to Debenhams in Belfast and Harvey Norman in Holywood.

What a waste of time, what a waste of money.

Had they bothered to do some more research they would know that both these stores buy centrally. Debenhams in London and HN in Dublin (with Australia pitching in too). Giving a sample set to a store manager in Belfast is a complete waste of time, if it even reaches the purchasing manager he (or she) will think they are idiots for not coming direct to HQ in the first place.

The point I am making is simple. Businesses waste too much time going after the wrong people, if these lads had have spent a little more time researching their potential customer they could have found out who the purchasing people were and set up a pitch meeting. Much more effective and a much better use of time.

It can be daunting going to big firm buyers but know this. It’s buyers jobs to……….. Er buy! But they can’t buy what they don’t know about.