Selling Machines. To Humans
By Tovit Neizer, VP Business Development, Nanofabrica
Technological innovation today aims to replace humans with machines that are becoming more and more autonomous. The news is of artificial intelligence and smart factories, of automation and robots precisely, relentlessly, and reliably undertaking tasks previously requiring human intervention. Here, despite this drive towards automation, we shine a light on the human touch that yields best results in this high tech world.
Industry 4.0 heralds a time when it will be factories and machines that decide on how to operate.
But until that time arrives, and even when it has, people will still decide which machines to buy. At Nanofabrica, where we manufacture cutting-edge ultra-precise 3D printers, we try to be as unrobotic as possible in our attitude towards our customers. Instead, we decided early on to emphasize the human beings involved in the process, and direct our attention towards them.
Why? Because in order to deliver the best technological systems — we need customer feedback.
Becoming Personal In Our Sales Cycle
So how do we express a personal touch and win customers’ attention in an automated era?
- We answer all emails and try to be as attentive as possible. We read what our customers ask, and answer their specific questions rather than using fixed templates.
- We schedule calls in which we really listen to customers’ needs. With these insights, we then incorporate changes in our system, ensuring the result will be the printer they need and will eventually purchase and use successfully.
- We keep in touch, at some point we might use their first names, and we keep them posted of progress all the time, and aim to create long lasting relationships that create real long term value for everyone involved.
- When we send samples of printed parts, we now add a postcard to the box with our handwritten customized message. We believe it may raise a nostalgic smile, reminding them of times when printers were the new technology and hand-written letters were a regular thing!
- At trade shows we attend, we wear a branded shirt, and we try to use it to stir up conversations. Our slogan “i AM precise” plays on the acronym for additive manufacturing and encapsulates our mission — bridging precision manufacturing and digital printing. It also treats the employee who wears the shirt as a person using “I am”, not treating them like a walking billboard. Again, becoming more personal
Be Less Techie
It may sound absurd to even want to be less techie when we all want seamless, frictionless, fast, and automated services and products that will save us time. But especially in the B2B environment — characterized by long drawn out processes — one needs to maintain a relationship with potential customers.
There needs to be an attentive ear in the marketing, business, sales, and customer service units.
Down the road, we at Nanofabrica believe that you’ll outperform your competitors only if you listen to your customers. Stop acting as a bot, and start using human gestures. By getting to know your customers better you will be able to fine-tune your offering and gain loyal partners for this voyage.
In a recent correspondence with a pivotal customer, after sharing an update with him, he assured me that he’s with us for the long run; “We are building something together,” he wrote.
This would have never happened if we had adopted an “automated” attitude!
Tovit Neizer is the VP Business Development at Nanofabrica. Nanofabrica combines the highest quality components together with its patented technology to provide a precision additive manufacturing platform that achieves extremely high resolution with unprecedented repeatability. The machine delivers micron precision digital innovation in every part produced.
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