Whether you are the owner of an electronics recycling business or a sales person selling services, you know full well how excruciating the sales process can be. Is it really different from any other sales process? The answer is a resounding “YES!”.
E-recycling presents a host of challenges for even the savviest sales professional. This post marks the first in a series identifying some of the hurdles unique to the e-recycling industry and offering tools and strategies that can be used to overcome them. We invite you to post your both your frustrations and your successes.
How is prospecting for e-recycling sales different? For the purposes of this post, let’s focus on enterprise sales. Some of the challenges unique to this industry are:
- Narrowing down your field of prospective buyers
- Finding the right contact
- Gathering intelligence for an effective ‘warm’ call or e-mail
Narrowing the Field of Buyers
Unlike most other products or services, virtually every single company, organization and person out there is a potential consumer of e-recycling services. Everyone has electronics so everyone has electronics to recycle. With the world as such a huge oyster, where should you begin?
First, consider what size companies your organization is best suited to service. Do you have the internal resources and capabilities to meet the demands of servicing a Fortune 500 company with extensive contract requirements and national or international service needs? Can you tolerate an extensive sales cycle against a very high level of competition? If not, perhaps mid-market or smaller businesses are your company’s sweet spot. Whatever you decide, making this first cut into who you will target will help begin the process of narrowing down the field.
The next thing to consider is narrowing down the verticals you are most comfortable selling to. e-Recycling is one business where geographical territories usually don’t make much sense. Focusing on the background and interests of individual sales representatives and further developing their knowledge and skills is considerably more effective. For example, a rep with a background in pharmaceutical sales might be well suited selling to healthcare and even the health insurance sectors. A sales person will always perform best if s/he is comfortable and knowledgeable about a prospect’s industry, environment and unique business challenges.
Finding the Right Contact
More so than most other sales process, finding the right contact for e-recycling services is an enormous challenge. Who might be responsible for e-recycling in an organization? Here is a partial list of departments where your best contact could be hiding:
- Corporate Security
Certainly it makes most sense to begin with the IT department since they have their hands on the goods. But, remember not to stop at the person that is responsible for disposing of retired IT assets. Make sure you ask if s/he also is responsible for choosing the disposition vendor. If not, be sure to engage that person in the process early on as well. Understanding the full picture of what it will take to win the sale early on will save a lot of disappointment later when you’ve satisfied one person only to find that other people or departments actually make the final call.
Gathering Intelligence for a Successful First Contact
So you’ve narrowed down your vertical and found who seems like the right contact and now the most important work starts: “What can I say to get this person, who gets bombarded with e-mail all day long, to get his/her attention and a response?”
Here’s what most sales people do:
My company blah, blah, blah and we’re the best thing since sliced bread so certainly you want to give me a call at your very earliest convenience.
Maybe this would work a bit better:
I understand that Name of Company will be moving its headquarters to Bloomfield in September and that you will likely be responsible for transitioning the IT infrastructure. I’d welcome an opportunity to explain how I can assist with de-installation, moving and asset management for this process but want to be sure I’m talking with the right person first. Please let me know if there is a time tomorrow morning when I can give you a quick call to learn more about the project or if there is someone else I should be contacting.
Many thanks and I look forward to your response,
Sara evidently took the time study her prospect’s website and scour the internet for news and information about the company. Being able to talk specifically about something very important to the prospect rather than trying to convince him or her right out the gate how badly they must need you is always more effective!
Up Next: Hiring Sales Talent
With such an unusual sales process, hiring people with the right stuff for e-recycling sales is essential and can also be very difficult. Where can you find the right sales talent and how should you hire? Stay tuned for next week’s Hiring e-Recycling Sales Talent for tips on effective recruiting and sales force development.