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The Barnacle

Everything has Changed, Including Sales

The world keeps changing and evolving, including marketing and sales approaches. Returning to our “normal” sales rhythm post-pandemic has been difficult. Remote work has made connecting with prospective customers less straightforward, more informal, and often unplanned. We expect more self-directed opportunities than before, contacts have left the company, or roles have changed.

2 Fish Co. started using an Owl Labs meeting camera during the pandemic to connect with customers and prospects. It is an immersive hybrid meeting experience with an intelligent 360-degree conference camera, mic, and speaker. The technology helped us feel as connected to our prospective clients as possible over the internet. We still use this technology for over half of our initial sales meetings as we have all acclimated to taking meetings virtually.

Relationships Matter

Myriads of new tactics and techniques attract new clients and help retain old ones. It is hard to know the best tactic: the “old” or the “new”. One tried and true method for 2 Fish Co. is leaning into the importance of relationships. By its very definition, “the way two or more people, objects, or concepts are connected,” relationships are about finding and building connections with your clients. Relationships are so important to us that we’ve made the concept one of our Standards. Not only are good relationships foundational to great service, but they also make a difference in providing great creative solutions.

The successful launch of Ferno’s Power X1 (Ferno is a prehospital equipment manufacturer, and Power X1 is an ambulance cot) was because of our intimate relationship with the director of marketing at Ferno. 2 Fish Co. had worked with Ferno for several years. Jason Wender, then marketing director, said, “2 Fish Co. has a history in our space. They have a solid process for launching capital equipment and expertise with our target market.” We were trusted with this major product launch because we had developed a relationship with him over the years and demonstrated we understood his market just as well as he did.

Developing a relational sales approach takes time. Understanding your client’s needs, wants, and problems takes several (or hundreds of) touchpoints. The more salespeople listen than talk, especially at the beginning of the engagement, the more the client trusts the sales process. The time spent allowing clients to talk about their specific needs can help customize the sales presentation. Even everyday conversations give clues to what the pain point of the business might look like and how you can ease those pains.

2 Fish Co. was asked to develop job descriptions and ads to attract new hires to Great Lakes Superior Walls, a local precast concrete company. We spent time with the HR director as part of the discovery process. He kept complaining about the loading time of the company’s website. After just a bit of research into their website, we suggested that the website be upgraded before launching any hiring ads. They now have a new website and the ads they originally called us to help them with.

Getting to Know You

The better we know our clients, the easier it is for us to be considered a part of the team. Using words like “we” and “us” conveys a more collaborative tone. It indicates that your desire is for their business to flourish and that you want to help make that happen. Knowing details about their business, staff, and competitors shows you have skin in the game and want to win for them. Knowing personal details goes a long way as well. It tells the client that you’re interested in them as a person, not just a transaction.

When the team at Yanfeng—the leading global provider of automotive interiors—was preparing to overhaul their previous showroom display, they asked 2 Fish Co. to come in and help them. “We often talk about the smart surfaces in our products, technologies, and innovations, and we wanted to align how we present and tell our stories with our actual products,” said Jim Bielski, Director of Events and Marketing Communications for Yanfeng. “The idea was that our displays would be smart and intuitive—just like our products.” Because we had demonstrated success for them previously, they allowed us to be innovative and use tools and technologies that were new to them but highly effective. 2 Fish Co. designed and programmed interactive touchscreen interfaces that interacted with the product and the user to create an immersive demonstration experience.

Trust the Process

This type of sales process also builds trust. Relational sales establish direct and reliable communication between the parties. This allows a two-way flow of information, allowing everyone to ask questions and gain clarification quickly and efficiently. It will enable the salesperson to tailor sales pitches and solutions to meet clients’ needs because we are all on the same team.

Whether you call it personal selling or prospecting to fill your sales funnel, we here at 2 Fish Co. think of it as simply taking care of each other. The better we understand our client’s core values, business needs, and wants, the better we can meet and exceed their expectations. We’ll help you keep your head above water by listening to your needs and working alongside you to accomplish them. We have found it to be way more fun, too.