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How does having a niche knowledge about the industry helps you in selling the product?

Some people are in one particular industry for long enough to know in and outs of that industry. Which helps them sell their product.


How much of an impact does it have on selling? And if you're one of those people, would you change in to any other industry? Would having an advantage of niche matter?

๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
๐Ÿงข Sales Management
15
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
A fuuuuuckton. And I've done the industry change. Once to an unrelated industry (went back real fast) and since then either the same industry or related ones. People like those who can speak their language.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Right. That makes more sense. The context switching would get real quickly if we did the change.ย 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
The ONLY unit of measure I understand ๐Ÿ˜
Riss
Opinionated
+4
I donโ€™t even know anymore ๐Ÿคช
I had to switch industries A LOT in my first sales career. At the time, it was the worst thing in the world, but the more you do it (like anything else) the quicker you become at picking up and identifying key triggers per industry.ย 

You start to be able to identify what is lingo, what sounds like an "industry specific" term, etc. You'll never be as good as someone who lives and breaths it, but it becomes easier.ย 

Annnddd you start to see cool overall trends that make you seem macro...like below--the overlap between healthcare & finance. It becomes kind of a unique call when you make these unusual (but accurate) comparisons.
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+6
BDR
I'd highlight that last part a lot, people like those who can speak their language and know their shit.
AinslieStreet
Politicker
+5
Sales Consultant
It literally makes the difference between being allowed in the door and not.

im in veterinary sales. If I didnโ€™t have twelve years as a veterinary technician under my belt, I would be laughed out of every clinic I walk into.ย 

I always lead with โ€œIโ€™m not a sales person; Iโ€™m a vet person. I know what you need and what will make your lives better because I AM you.โ€
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Some subtle powerful lines. Don't mind if I steal
AinslieStreet
Politicker
+5
Sales Consultant
Thank you!! Iโ€™m very proud of my not-pitch pitch.ย 

I think of myself as a teammate and educator to my vet teams first, sales rep second.ย 

for populations like veterinarians, who are notoriously slow-to-adopt and insanely skeptical of everything, I think going in with this attitude makes all the difference.ย 
Show 1 more replies
braintank
Politicker
+6
Enterprise Account Executive
My geographic territory encompasses a lot of industries but I've found it helpful to focus on a handful (finance and healthcare). Understanding the needs/drivers/regulations for the industry establishes credibility. Plus you get the benefit of name-dropping their peers. Also helps a ton so you don't have to learn 1000 acronyms since each industry seems to have its own jargon.ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
That is sooo true. But finance and health couldn't be more opposite of each other. How do you manage the context switching?
Riss
Opinionated
+4
I donโ€™t even know anymore ๐Ÿคช
They aren't really that opposite when it comes to challenges and pain points. Both are highly regulated, typically laggard in technology, really uptight/professional cultures, typically very low customer sentiment. Once you find similarities, it makes it easier to take over other industries!ย 
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TheFemaleWolf
Opinionated
+3
Director of Sales
Sooo much. You establish credibility and trust with clients so much faster than someone less knowledgable.

At this point I would never industry hop. Logistics for life.ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
That's awesome. I feel the same way too. Would a huge salary hike and comp plan motivate you to change industry and start from 0?
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
I believe it has a major impact.

This doesn't mean you can't study various verticals though. It's important to know current trends and lingo before having a meeting.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
That's true. Lingo being the key word I believe. We can sell the best product but it won't have the same effect if we don't speak their langauge
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
Exactly what I'm saying Ace ๐Ÿ˜Ž
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JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
Being able to use and understand industry buzzwords in casual conversation certainly helps.ย 
popepius
OG Sales Savage
+7
Enterprise Sales Lead
HUGE impact. If you're native to that niche industry (vs. an outside company trying to basically buy its way into the niche as a new market opportunity) it does go a long way โ€“ speaking the language, understanding the native structure, having a product designed specifically for them vs. one that's been adapted to fit just to make more $$$.ย 

What's interesting is that if I ever took another SaaS sales job I'd have to get completely outside of this niche industry, because the way my company does things has ruined me on all the others โ€“ no respect for any of the competitors ๐Ÿ˜‚
chubbspeterson
Politicker
+5
Senior Business Development Associate
I think it has a huge impact, and it just makes you that much more confident in everything you do, and in every aspect of your sales process.ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
What are some of your ways to learn a new niche?
chubbspeterson
Politicker
+5
Senior Business Development Associate
I made the jump from logistics to healthcare technology about 5 years ago, and had to start from scratch knowledge wise basically. What really helped me, was having a leadership team that was patient with me as I came down the learning curve, they had ample and relevant training material for me to study, and they set out a clear road map for my progression and what was expected of me by "X" date.ย 

I knew the team had this in place before making the jump, then I did my best to learn as much about our product / customer base as possible in those first two years. But having that framework in place when I got there really made all of the difference.ย 
Show 2 more replies
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
This is huge, it automatically gets you street cred with your prospects when you can show how well you know the ins and outs of the industry.ย 
aiko
Politicker
+7
Sr. Account Executive
Tons!
aiko
Politicker
+7
Sr. Account Executive
considered moving industries but it would have been a huge learning curve.ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Yes and will have to weigh the options if making that move makes sense in the long term
cw95
Politicker
+6
Pricing Executive
I think it has a load of impact when selling it, however, only in answering the questions and not being big-headed and over-selling how much you know.ย 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
By answering questions do you mean during after-demo QnA or during discovery?
cw95
Politicker
+6
Pricing Executive
I think the whole shabang. If you know it all inside and out you shouldn't get stumped and you'll be able to answer all the questions...but if you answer it and then go over the top with how impressive your knowledge is then it may put people off due to blabbering on about things that aren't relevant.ย  That's just my opinion anyway!ย 
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Philly_Bro
Good Citizen
Strategic Account Manager
A Huge amount. I started in SaaS, and moved to media monitoring. I've been here for about 6 years now and it's been huge to be able to technically understand how all there systems interact.

It's made me a better sales person, and more of an advisor rather than a sales person to my clients.ย 

I think taking work in parallel industries is honestly what I would have told myself first when getting into sales.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Yeah in your case tech acted as a pre-requisite which made you a super salesperson. That's a lucrative jump
MiniSavage
Opinionated
+1
Sales Manager
I sell events, so I always need to have the latest info on the industry I'm working on (I still set up google alerts for specific buzzwords or topics). It helps a lot, knowing what to reply to someone's question or even asking a question yourself, that way even if in the end they decide it's not a good fit, they remember the conversation (they really do!). So, when I'm working on a different event, If I call the same company I always go for the guy I was in touch with previously, and get employee referrals for the department I need.
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
Oh yeah in your field, you've to be on top of the things

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