For businesses that sell or maintain complex goods and services, the most effective sales strategy is history: A company's legacy within its respective community, its earned reputation for excellence and its relationship to premier products and manufacturers.
Indeed, the purchase of industrial equipment – the pumps, valves and systems responsible for making machinery operate properly – is not a whimsical decision; it involves trust (on behalf of a retailer) and confidence (towards that retailer's team of skilled technicians), before an executive approves an investment of this magnitude.
I know of what I write because, in my role as Operations Manager for FD Johnson, I have a responsibility – and this rules applies to all my colleagues throughout our company – to honor the words make our motto anything but hollow: “We keep your machinery running!”
To achieve that feat, in a field where a pump, valve or lubrication system can mean the difference between maximum productivity or lost opportunity, goes far beyond our product catalog or inventory.
The same principle is true for a technology provider or a data center, or any company offering essential hardware; the tangible equipment, for which a buyer should perform their due diligence before writing a check, approving a purchase order or committing to any sort of engagement with a retailer.
All of which means history matters, that it is not a dry academic subject; it is, in fact, living proof of an organization's longevity – for which the marketplace, governed by consumers, is the final arbiter of success or failure. In the case of FD Johnson, we have 80-years of history to demonstrate our credibility. But we also know that we can either continue to write new chapters in this story, or we can forsake that history – we can use it as a license – to loosen standards, to blindly reduce overhead and to use our name, trusted throughout Ohio and across the United States, as a catchall excuse for looking the other way.
We would never do those things because, one, we have our own personal moral standards – we live and work in our community – and two, we respect the influence of consumers and the power of the marketplace. In an era of global communications, a single negative review can undo a company's identity; it can sow doubt among prospective buyers, spread misinformation within seconds and ruin the accomplishments of our forebears.
Simply stated, a legacy is a foundation, not a fortress. As an operations manager, my duty – like the one executives share among a diverse array of businesses – is to ensure we build upon that foundation, with professionalism and vigilance.
Emphasizing the Key Components of a Company's History: Finding the Right Message
The takeaway theme to this philosophy is simple: Have pride in your work, execute your responsibilities with care and integrity, and always take the time to listen to and answer – with dignity and patience – the questions consumers have about a particular product or service.
This advice may seem straightforward – it is straightforward – but the mistake too many companies make, and here I offer these words with humility and an understanding of how hard some executives work, the error businesses commit is one of perspective. Call this phenomenon The Mistake of Not Pausing to Look and Record Your Company in Action.
If you have the perspective distance affords, where you can see how your team interacts with consumers, how your technicians run classes for clients and how you can keep your own machinery running, so to speak, then you will find the right message for your business and the best way to enhance your brand.
Let this knowledge be a guide, so companies can excel and consumers can celebrate with you, while employees can rejoice alongside you, in having created a legacy worth honoring. With vision and resolution, these rewards are available to all– for the good of all.