As Halloween is priming the consumer market, retailers themselves are realizing how much of the target market is actually expanding beyond the kiddies and the candy bags. If these retailers are your target market, it’s only natural for you to experience this kind of revelation right alongside them. Never underestimate how consumer sentiment eventually ripples out to impact B2B sales leads.
This points to a much larger reality that businesses are bound to face (especially as their startup days grow further and further away). When target markets change, it’s inevitable ripple effect on everyone in the supply chain.
Toy retailers alone already represent a market for several industries: For example, they might end up changing suppliers. Marketers and advertisers might find them asking for radically different content. Even PR and social media companies could find themselves dragged in if the decisions of a particular corporation create unexpected backlash. (Look at what Toys R Us got itself into when it started selling Breaking Bad dolls.)
If you’re not prepared for this change or even just underestimate its impact, you could mishandle your customers and lose them completely!
Here are some reminders to always keep you prepared:
- The power of feedback – As always, it’s best to hear it from the horse’s mouth. But more than that, you need to let them know you’re very open to hear from them. Let them know how willing you are to adapt to any sudden changes in their business agenda.
- Watch for signs – Show a healthier interest in your prospect’s industry. It might not be toys or even retailing but it always helps to know what could possibly drive them to change. You don’t need to learn everything about their target market but enough to know how they changing demands could change yours.
- Be prepared for all responses – Sometimes a prospect will act in ways that are predicted. But other times, they might hesitate to jump on the bandwagon. In either case, you should be prepared. If it doesn’t look like they’re being affected by a change in market, don’t force it. You can suggest, you can even just ask why. But above all, it’s best to act only once your customer acts.
Like the changing demographics of Halloween, your customers don’t always stay as the kid you dressed up as a little ghost. They grow up and might prefer dressing up as someone from the Vampire Diaries or American Horror Story. But before you react, you can only do so by being with them and seeing the change firsthand.