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Niche Market Sales Tips

Selling to Barge and Tugboat Brokerages

As the clouds dissipate, barge and tugboat brokerages are gradually bouncing back from the economic downturn and are starting to reinvest. Products, cost and customer service are all important considerations – so businesses that sell to barge and tugboat brokerages need to be at the top of their game.

Despite robust demand for products sold to barge and tugboat brokerages, penetrating the market can be challenging.

Companies that are trying to break into the market need to develop a comprehensive sales plan that is built on industry fundamentals.

Market Intelligence

Start with good market research, which is a prerequisite for profitability in this industry. High volume sales teams conduct thorough research on market demand, pricing and niche opportunities.

More importantly, they research and evaluate the specific barge and tugboat brokerages that they want to add to their customer roster.

Since relationships are an important part of the selling process, meetings with barge and tugboat brokerages leaders and their staff often form the backbone of the sales cycle. These meetings can also provide information that can give your business a competitive edge.

Message First, Targets Second

Messaging is an important part of a successful sales strategy. Confused messaging dilutes the sales cycle and makes it difficult for prospective customers to discern the value of your products.

Whenever possible, the identification of key messaging should be incorporated into a comprehensive planning process that combines sales and marketing into a coherent strategy.

The next step is to narrow the field to the contacts who are most likely to respond to your messaging. Although there is more than one way to capture lead contacts, lead lists can be a useful resource for generating a list of prospects that are receptive to your messaging. Vendors like Experian are skilled at providing targeted lists of barge and tugboat brokerages that can be customized to your precise specifications.

Sales Incentives

In a perfect world, you want your sales force to be self-motivated to perform at a high level. But to encourage constant improvement, consider offering sales incentives to sales reps that exceed barge and tugboat brokerage sales targets.

Incentives don't have to be cost-prohibitive -- sometimes just recognizing an employee's worth to the organization is more valuable than an expensive incentive that lacks recognition or prestige.

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