“How does this help me?”
Though you may be an expert when it comes to drone technology, that does not necessarily guarantee work for you. 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.
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?”
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.
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.
I really like this post by Dustin Price, who is the operations manager of Bossier City, LA based Landpoint, a land surveying company focused on the oil and gas industry. If you go to the Landpoint website, you can see what walking the talk looks like. There is absolutely no question who the customer is.
Dustin makes a point that I have made before, and will definitely make again. The people who will be successful are those who have the prerequisite domain expertise to understand customer pain points and present their offering as a solution to those very specific problems. In an interview with Commercial UAV News I said that:
“The more specialized the vertical, the more the competition will be limited to others with similar mastery of the field. A lot of these will be smaller markets, but the margins will be better because the business value will be clearer and there will be fewer competitors.”
Dustin’s recommendation to focus on a few key industries very much reflects the larger business market in which it’s all about being a niche player. His recommendation to hire an account team with specific expertise in the markets you are targeting is a spectacular piece of advice. It is one of the few ways to get out of, or maybe into, a niche you want to compete in.