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What End Users Want From RFID Vendors

A seminar at RFID Journal LIVE! will help technology companies do a better job of communicating their value proposition to those who could benefit from their solutions.
By Mark Roberti
Jan 18, 2010Last month, I wrote about Jill Konrath's book, Selling to Big Companies, in the context of helping technology firms that offer RFID hardware, software or services do a better job of communicating their value proposition to end users (see Helping RFID Vendors Connect With RFID Buyers). Last week, we announced that we hired Konrath to conduct her workshop for RFID technology companies at our next RFID Journal LIVE! event, being held on Apr. 14-16, 2010, in Orlando, Fla. (see RFID Journal to Feature 'Selling RFID to Big Companies' Workshop).

A lot of people are probably skeptical that Konrath can help them crack big accounts, but I'm convinced she can. I purchased her book for each of our salespeople, and I kept my copy because I plan to read it at least once every six months. She doesn't have a magic bullet for selling technology to big businesses, but she does understand the current selling environment, and the way most salespeople work, and she offers practical advice.

One area Konrath addresses is the gap between sales and marketing. She makes the point that marketing people often strive to get as many leads as possible. This, she says, can be counterproductive, however, because salespeople then have to waste time chasing down individuals who will not invest in their technology for years to come, instead of focusing on those most likely to buy in the near term (which is critical for many RFID companies in the current environment). I posted a paper she authored, entitled "What Sales Really Needs From Marketing," on our Web site because I thought it was so good.

One of her suggestions—and this isn't new—is to stop selling and become a consultant to your customers. I've taken this advice to heart, and have been working with my sales team to focus less on selling ads or exhibit space, and more on helping RFID technology providers reach those most likely to buy their offerings. That's also why we hired Konrath to speak at our event, published our special report "Understanding the RFID Buyer," and worked with Spectrum Marketing & Communications to host a webinar this month entitled "Content Marketing as a Lead-Generation Tool for RFID Vendors," which will take place on Jan. 26, 2010.

I believe that vendors will be more receptive to hearing from RFID Journal when our purpose is to help them reach the right end users. Similarly, I'm sure end users would rather speak to vendors who aren't touting how great their product is, and who instead offer to help them determine the most cost-effective ways in which to deploy a system that meets their needs.

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