Services – Specialist
Specialists differentiate their services offerings by positioning themselves as the market expert, rather than a market generalist. In doing so, these companies limit opportunities to that niche but can better focus their business development efforts and often charge a premium for their services. To effectively market your specialty, you must track your customer’s market forces and watch for evaporation. Here is a hint – simply stating that you are a National Instruments LabVIEW expert is not enough. Even calling yourself an expert with the NI LabVIEW Real-Time Module or other specific NI products is not sufficient. Think in terms of your customers. Identify your expertise in their terms, not National Instruments terms.
In many respects, business development for a specialist is the same as a generalist. Both are service-oriented business and require appropriate sales and marketing techniques. However, specialists do have something more specific to align your marketing and sales efforts around. You can network within your niche through customer references, vertical publications, and vertical trade shows. You then can better sell your unique value to a known customer list. Hiring salespeople is still difficult, but at least it is a differentiated expertise.
Working with NI
NI customers and NI salespeople often consult our online directory to identify companies with particular specialties. Therefore, it is imperative that your Alliance Partner profile includes specific information about your services. Please note that you can create separate service descriptions for each of your specialty areas. Be sure to include keywords for your specialty to increase your search relevancy.
Additionally, figure out the product marketing manager who has the most to gain from your special expertise. You can produce unique technical content; NI is always looking for success stories, particularly with newer products, that it can turn into technical articles for the Web, trade publications, and more.
As a specialist, you also have more opportunity to network with NI salespeople outside of your geography. Through your efforts with NI marketing, you can build your reputation in other geographic areas. You can also ask your local NI sponsor to introduce you to other NI salespeople in regions you would like to conduct business.
You might even consider partnering with other integrators. By differentiating your niche expertise, you can position yourself as complementary. Let them know you can subcontract your expertise as part of a larger project.