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Interview with Francis Alizer from AFI Company

What is your function and your business sector? I am the manager of AFI since it started in 1993. Our staff includes ten employees, and we work in the industrial supplies sector as well as providing services to the building trade, companies and communities. Who are your clients and suppliers? Our clients are primarily companies from the construction industry and the industrial sector. In both cases, these may be big companies with subsidiaries as well as more local and regional SMEs, or individual tradespeople. Our suppliers are various tools suppliers and makers in Europe. At the moment we use 1094 different suppliers. What are your main assets in face of the competition? Service. We are more focused on service needs and on the solutions we deliver to the client than on the product per se. We try to determine what will best meet the client’s need, we examine the bill of specifications, we check that the request duly corresponds with his needs and we attempt to find a solution satisfactory to everybody. Within your current activity, what is the initiative or launch that you’re the most proud of?  Products I develop for the nuclear power industry. These are products used in the transport of TFA equipment. Actually, we’re at the beginning of a deconstruction phase of nuclear power, but one needs to know that this phase will last 150 years and that it involves a lot of trades and business sectors, including ours. How do you keep your customers happy? Fast logistics, a quick reactivity time and stock. We have increased our stock by 35%, and we have also developed a retail website at the same time to make our e-commerce debut. Which complementary services do you propose alongside your products? We propose a range of services and support to the client depending on his specific needs. Thanks to our network, we are able to support clients who sometimes haven’t a lot of representatives, if at all.

B2B Expertise

How can you maximize your prospecting efforts?

Effective prospecting remains a key aspect of developing your business. To make it happen, you need reliable marketing strategies and a strong sales force to follow through. The keys to succeed in prospecting You must :

  • use  a prospect database
  • implement a strategy
  • keep up the relationship with new customers
The prospect database This database provides a file containing precise informations. About the companies, this file lists two types of information :
  • structural (business sector, localization, size, turnover…)
  • individual (name of managers, postal address, emails…)
To draw up a strategy, you need first of all to define the prospecting territory. In order to do so, you must resort to two types of analyses :
  • take heed of your offer and your sales force
  • examine the competition and your target audience
Then you’ll clearly know where and how to prospect. The implementation of a strategy This strategy aims to turn prospects into clients. Several techniques serve it, such a sales force or a website. But what matters first and foremost is to know how to implement it :
  1. define the prospection area
  2. retrieve prospecting datas
  3. divide up the tasks
  4. brief the salesmen
  5. centralize and archive the prospecting actions
  6. evaluate the performances
The customer relationship management Once a prospect has become a client, you have to keep up your relationship with him and still pay attention to his needs in order to build his loyalty. Therefore, he’ll be prone to recommend you to his associates.