What approach should we take for promoting RFID products?
This is a vital question, and you are the first person in the history of RFID Journal (14 years) to ask it. Kudos to you for being smart enough to realize there is a right way and a wrong way to pitch RFID products.
The first thing that you need to understand is that RFID is not a better version of a technology people are already using. It’s not the same as selling a lower-cost server that does the same thing the company’s existing server does, or a vehicle with better fuel efficiency that will save a company money. It is something entirely new and involves changing IT systems and business processes, and the benefits are not yet proven (at least, not in a prospect’s mind), so this is a much tougher sell than selling a new version of something that a company already uses.
The best prospect is someone who has a business problem that he or she has not been able to solve using other technologies. So the key is to ask questions: What are the business issues you are struggling with? How much are you losing each year due to your inability to solve those issues? What labor costs are involved? What do you think is the best way to address the issues? If you could identify and track the assets involved, would that help?
The second thing to do is to avoid overselling RFID or bashing other forms of RFID than the ones you sell. IF you sell active RFID and you bash passive systems (or vice versa), a potential customer will likely be turned off and assume the passive supplier would have similar bad things to say about your technology. If you oversell RFID, a potential client will likely conduct some research and realize that RFID isn’t magic and doesn’t solve all problems, and you will lose credibility as a result.
Once you understand the issue that the prospect faces, explain how RFID might address that problem. Ask for more information—pictures of the facility and products, details of business processes—and try to determine the right solution for that individual’s needs. Consider the prospect your partner in selling the concept of RFID to the company, and try to have that prospect consider you a partner in solving his or her problem as well.
RFID is often sold within a company by one passionate individual who gets it and brings others onboard. If you can turn your prospect into an advocate for RFID, you will have a much better chance of making a sale. Remember, it only takes one “no” to kill a project, and it’s easier to say “no” to a salesperson than to a passionate individual inside the company who wants to solve business problems.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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