I am Wang Shiping, and since January of this year, I joined GenScript's North American Marketing Department of CPBU, serving as a Sales Account Manager. In this role, I am tasked with overseeing our industrial customers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Launched last year, AmMag™ Quatro is a state-of-the-art, fully automated plasmid purification instrument and is one of the pivotal products that I have been chiefly advocating for within the San Francisco Bay Area this year. During the nascent stages of its promotion, I endeavored to acquaint potential customers with this innovative instrument via emails. However, the propensity of numerous industrial customers in the San Francisco Bay Area to outsource plasmid extraction services has led to a markedly low response rate, be it from emails or leads garnered at conferences.
In early April, my promotional efforts persisted, with continuous introductory correspondences regarding the AmMag™ Quatro being dispatched to all the customers of Company A. Predictably, the responses were absent from my inbox.
While the promotional trajectory for plasmid purification instruments is marked by its arduous nature and elongated cycle, coupled with extremely subdued customer responsiveness, my resolve, as a Sales Account Manager at GenScript, remains unbroken. The spirit of perseverance prevails, prompting continual self-refinement and enhancement in customer follow-up methodologies.
At this year's PEGS 2023 conference, I discovered that representatives from Company A were among the attendees. On May 17, I received a lead on AmMag™ Quatro from Robert Bi, gathered during the conference, linked to a contact named M. Without delay, I extended an email to M, aspiring to foster deeper communication, but regrettably, this attempt at correspondence, akin to the previous ones, remained unacknowledged.
"Embracing failure as a stepping stone on the path to success" is a principle I steadfastly adhere to. Even if I fail 99 times, I will seize this one opportunity for success as long as I do not give up. Equipped with this perspective, I refined my approach and embarked on a meticulous analysis of available opportunities. It came to light that Company X, a rival of Company A, had procured instruments from GenScript, acquiring four modules in a single transaction. Consequently, on June 20, I dispatched bulk emails to Company X's competitors, including Company A; however, responses remained elusive.
Indeed, compared to academic customers, orchestrating appointments and dialogues with industrial customers proves more formidable and typically yields diminished response rates.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, abrupt cancellations of scheduled meetings owing to unforeseen disruptions in experimental timelines are a frequent occurrence. Additionally, the latter half of 2022 saw numerous entities grappling with budgetary constraints and workforce reductions. The unforeseen demise of Silicon Valley Bank in March this year further exacerbated the market stringency in the San Francisco Bay Area, imposing a detrimental impact on the sales trajectory of large instruments for numerous enterprises.
Nevertheless, I am convinced that the San Francisco Bay Area, despite its economic fluctuations, remains a fertile ground for opportunities. My task is to pinpoint customers and corporations whose needs align with our product portfolio.
The lack of responses from Company A, even after three rounds of email communications, corroborated my hypothesis that Company A and Company X are competitors. At this juncture, harnessing the power of inference and analogous reasoning is imperative. For instance, introducing the AmMag™ Quatro to the competitors of a previous purchaser, Company X, by employing a bespoke and targeted strategy, can potentially unlock unforeseen opportunities.
Subsequently, I resolved to station myself in the lobby of Company A, aspiring to engage in direct dialogues with its employees. In the past, I had endeavored to intersect with industrial customers in lobbies, without prior appointments—introducing myself and GenScript's offerings, and probing into their user experiences and any technical quandaries in need of resolutions. I discerned that this approach does not irk customers; rather, they generally acquiesce to a 5-10 minute interaction.
On June 22, I opted to inhabit the lobby of Company A, managing tasks on my laptop while scouting for interaction opportunities with any company personnel. After a three-hour waiting, I approached a woman who appeared to be an employee and introduced myself. Fortunately, she was employee N of Company A, and she was acquainted with M, whom I had endeavored to connect with via email earlier. That day, Company A was engrossed in a team-building event, attending an SF Giants game, leaving the company premises nearly deserted. I entrusted N with my business card and the AmMag™ Quatro pamphlet, accentuating the considerable utility of our instrument to Company A.
Four days subsequent, on Monday, M reached out autonomously, querying if we could dispense some samples for evaluative testing to determine whether their quality and yield could meet their needs. On June 29, I convened with M and her colleagues. They demonstrated profound familiarity with the slides and case analyses of AmMag™ Quatro. If our instrument aligned with the requirements of Company A, they expressed intentions to undertake a trial of our instrument in Q3, potentially culminating in a purchase in Q4.
Reflecting on this endeavor, when emails remain unanswered, but I discern that the customer holds potential interest in GenScript's offerings, I endeavor to carve out avenues for direct, face-to-face dialogues. To illustrate, positioning myself in the lobby of Company A and proactively engaging customers did indeed catalyze meaningful progression in the instrument project. Without my steadfast presence in Company A's lobby, coupled with unwavering determination and a resolve to never easily concede, perhaps M would still remain unresponsive to my email outreach.
Acknowledging the inherent hurdles in engaging industrial customers and the notably subdued email response rates, I opt to "seize the initiative", inherently, without inducing displeasure in the customer. This action, in my partners'' perspective, demands pronounced courage and resolve, synonymous with choosing to linger in the lobby for self and production introductions.
Every sales representative harbors distinct sales strategies and tactics. As a Sales Account Manager, my initial step entails an in-depth comprehension of our products and a meticulous study of various companies within my assigned territory to orchestrate tailored sales endeavors. Concurrently, I delve deep into each company and, during interactions, radiate our extensive insight and enthusiasm regarding their operations, conveying our genuine intent.
Crucially, our perseverance in assisting customers to navigate their challenges and our proactive pursuit of communicative opportunities should supersede impersonal email dispatches. Absent my initiative in the lobby and the ensuing connection with M via N, the likelihood of subsequent consultations and project advancements would have been scant. This experience underscores the efficacy of stationing oneself in the lobbies of certain biotech/pharmaceutical entities and initiating dialogues with industrial customers as a pragmatic approach to cultivating leads, capturing opportunities, and accelerating progress.