Though you may be an expert when it comes to drone technology, that does not necessarily guarantee work for you if you provide aerial mapping, scanning or related services. The reason is simple: Most of your prospective clients don’t really care about a fancy new technology, like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
What they do care about is how this technology can help with their specific needs. In order to really sell prospective clients on UAV services, agencies need to increase their focus on industry-specific solutions.
Why take a solution-based approach?
Whether it’s safety inspections, aerial video or 3D modeling, your offering isn’t going to matter much to potential clients if it doesn’t solve some sort of issue that they are struggling with on a regular basis.
You can rattle on about the software that you use, the model of drones you use and what types of cameras the aircraft are outfitted with – but most potential clients won’t care.
What they want to know is, “How does this help me?”
Companies in all industries are almost always willing to move toward a proven and clear concept. But they need an already existing problem in order to prompt them to move forward. Thus, it’s important to take the time to learn about these industry-specific challenges.
Though this can make your job a lot harder, it also provides an excellent opportunity; if you can determine the pain point of potential clients, you give yourself a significant opening through which to engage them and increase your chances of closing a deal.
Focusing on certain industries
UAV technology is applicable to a tremendous array of industries. From construction to agriculture, drones can be integrated for safer, more effective operations. This creates a wide breadth of opportunities for those involved in the technology.
But while many industries can benefit from UAVs, you shouldn’t cast too wide a net when offering your services. By selecting a few key industries, you increase your chances of closing deals.
There are a few reasons for this:
1) It allows you to quickly acquire more expertise in your target industries;
2) It is easier to focus on the challenges faced by one or two industries than it is a dozen; and
3) It requires less time and fewer resources to focus on a few key industries.
When it comes to highly technical and specific industries, such as oil and gas, company owners and decision-makers are often uninterested in speaking with those who do not understand their unique technology and challenges.
They may not believe that someone who doesn’t understand their business inside and out can truly help them. If and when they sense that a drone technology expert is unaware of the details of their business, they will be disinclined to listen to them further. And it’s very likely that they will be able to identify the individual’s lack of expertise quite quickly.
Learning to speak the language
However, even if your firm offers a great solution that easily resolves potential clients’ pain points, they may not listen to you if you don’t “speak their language.”
Language is one of the most direct and persuasive ways to indicate knowledge of an industry. Being able to use the day-to-day terminology that your target demographic uses is an excellent way to show them that you understand their industry and their needs.
UAV firms have to describe the benefits of their product in the lingo of the clients that they are pitching to. This will show that you have more than just cursory knowledge of their industry and help them to better understand how drone-based services can help meet their needs.
Drone providers will often need to answer questions about how their technology will aid a business, even though they do not have direct or personal information regarding the industry. Keeping solutions in mind and working directly with an expert is often the best way to counter these concerns accurately and without potentially alienating the client base.
Hiring staff with a background in an industry you are targeting can be a great way to build credibility, especially if they are taking on a sales role. Over time, these internal experts will be able to create a bridge of communication between your organization and your clients/potential clients.
Remember: With any new technology, the benefits are not always readily apparent to the average person. The burden is on drone operators to show how UAVs can be used to the benefit of their customers. By taking a solution-based approach to selling your services, you can gain an edge in a field that is rapidly becoming competitive.
Dustin Price is operations manager of Bossier City, La.-based Landpoint, a land surveying company focused on the oil and gas industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.