Selling Your TL 9000 Certification: Doesn’t Everyone Know The Benefits?

You have achieved TL 9000 certification and now companies should rush to your doorstep right?  Unfortunately too many executives, especially from smaller firms think this way.  They expect that once certification is achieved, getting new business should be a snap.  To be blunt it’s not.  Certification to TL 9000 or any other quality standard is not easy or cheap, so here are some pointers to help you obtain new business.  You have to learn to “SELL” your certification, by educating your potential customers.

Consider why you did TL 9000 in the first place.  What advantages does certification give you with your customers?  TL 9000 allows your firm to minimize risk in your customers’ supply chain through better testing, a disaster recovery plan, a security plan and a risk management plan.  In many cases, certification helps you reduce the cost of your products to customers.  How?  By eliminating or reducing rework and shortening cycle time.  You can be as much as 15% more efficient than you would be otherwise.  This means you can be the low cost and high quality provider which is a winning combination in anyone’s book.  Do you include any of this in your company’s “value proposition”?

When you meet a new prospect, they don’t automatically know about TL 9000 or its inherent benefits.   Avoid the mistake of assuming that your prospective client knows why TL 9000 is important. Actually the reverse is likely to be true.  You have to take the time to explain to your prospect that you’re better because you have stronger testing, because you plan to be in business if a disaster strikes and because you manage risks.  In other words, during your sales conversations lead with the benefits you bring, NOT with the fact that you are TL 9000 certification.  Point out the benefits first, then talk about how TL 9000 helped you achieve them.

Finally, be patient.  Sales cycles can be long and it takes time to build a relationship that will make people want to buy from you.  Don’t get discouraged. If you have something people want and you can show why buying from you is a SAFE purchase, you are well on your way!