Good morning! Today, I will explore the first of our four core competencies: Sales & Marketing. You may be thinking, “Well, doesn’t every company have to be competent in sales and marketing in order to survive?” The answer is, “Yes” a company must be competent in sales and marketing in order to survive. We are not interested in merely surviving. We are looking to create competitive advantages. It is not the fact that we have a sales and marketing plan, it is the fact that we truly market and sell differently than our competition. Most of our competition is reactive to needs in the marketplace. They focus on competitive bidding as their primary sales channel. The volume of bids generated is their marketing plan, as this increases the market’s awareness of them. They hope that this awareness will result in more opportunities to bid work. Unfortunately, the primary determinant of who is awarded a particular project is low price. Therefore, those most “successful” in bidding are able to capture the most work, but due to the focus on low price, there is little left over for reinvestment back into the company once the job is done.
At JLG, we are very proactive in our marketing and sales efforts. We are out trying to “soften the ground” through our marketing long before a customer even knows that they have a project. Be it through direct mail, lunch n learns, special customer events, our web site, etc, we expend an incredible amount of resources to build awareness in the marketplace. With the ground softened, we unleash our sales force. No one in the state has the sales force we do. Our BDMs and PMs are not just uncovering bid work. They are building relationships with our customers, which leads to specifying product and eliminating competition. By doing this, we can add real value to the customer which yields higher margin work for us, and delivers at a market competitive price to the customer. In the end, there is more money left to reinvest in the company to market more and grow our sales force. It is this circle of value and reinvestment that truly differentiates us from the competition.
As you go about your week, think of how you, regardless of your role in the company, can “soften the ground.” What can you do to communicate the value that JLG has to offer? What can you do to build a relationship with a customer or potential customer? When we leverage this core competency, the playing field starts out uneven . . . in our favor. This is where it all begins. Let’s go change the game!
Have a great week!
President & Chief Operating Officer