Preparing Your People
Learn the industry jargon, develop your industry engagement capabilities, and locate training programs near you.
Presenting to Mining Companies
Knowing who to speak to:
Not knowing the ‘right’ people to approach is a common complaint arising when trying to sell to the mining sector. It is important to do some pre-visit research and speak to as many people as possible to understand who will be the decision maker for the implementation of your offering. This may include speaking to, and asking questions of, existing suppliers to the industry, to industry bodies that facilitate supplier opportunities (e.g. ICN, Austmine), and the mining companies. In undertaking this research, keep a note of all the contacts you make and their role in the company. This will enable you to identify the appropriate person to approach to host your site visit. It will also assist you in understanding the internal approval systems.
The Site Tour – the time for listening and pitching
Once these formalities are completed, you will normally meet with your contact and other relevant personnel to discuss how your time on site will unfold. This is a good time to begin the conversation relating to what the problems are that they are dealing with. This dialogue throughout the duration of your tour will allow you to gain a deeper appreciation of the issues that “keep them up at night” and how your offering could be of assistance to them.
When presenting your offering, it is essential to have a clear and concise value proposition. From site personnel to senior management, the message is clear: a simple solution will get traction; do not make it appear complicated; take the complexity away from the customer and just solve their problem.
Post-Visit Follow Up
They say that in the advertising industry the half-life of your advertisement’s impact is 3 weeks. This means that in 3 weeks from when your advertisement is first seen, it will have 50% of the impact that it did on the first day. There is no reason why similar thinking around a disciplined sales approach cannot be applied to your visit at the mine site. Keep on top of the leads that you make, the relationships you formed and be persistent in staying ‘front of mind’ of your customer.
Visiting a Mine Site
As a prospective supplier to the mining industry it is important to get on site and demonstrate the value of your product/service to the end users. Visiting a mine site for the first time is an eye-opening experience. This is particularly the case given that mines are portrayed often as daunting environments where large trucks and shovels roll around site with minimal human involvement. The reality is that they are a hive of activity where people are the most important asset and time is continually of the essence. This overview aims to provide some tips for how to best prepare for a visit to a mine site and some other things that you can expect along the way.
Depending on the length of your site visit and the nature of your product, technology or service, you may have an opportunity to give a demonstration at the relevant part of the site’s operations. It is important to clarify with the site personnel prior to the visit whether you will have adequate time, site access and permissions for an on site demonstration.
Once this has been established and approval for a site visit has been given by your contact, you will receive some documents to complete. These could include:
- A site request form containing questions relating to: status of visit, personal information, emergency contact, employment details, medical details, etc.
- A consent form that you will comply with all instructions from on-site personnel
- A consent form for the mining company to undertake a personal background check, particularly when visiting some gold mines
Wearing appropriate clothing on site is critical to your safety. Depending on the size, nature and owner of the mine site being visited, it is important to establish prior to your visit the personal protective equipment (PPE) you are required to bring to site and that which will be provided to you. At a minimum, and to practice good etiquette, you should wear long-sleeved pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and closed-toe boots, preferably steel-capped.
On Site Formalities
When arranging your visit to site, you will be told to arrive at a designated site access point. This will be a security gate or checkpoint where you will receive the appropriate visitor accreditation.
Once within the mine site, you will undertake the first of many safety briefings during your visit. You may also be required to sit a test to ensure that you have been paying attention. This is a common sense quiz that includes multiple-choice questions such as, “What is the accepted blood alcohol content level of personnel on site?”
It is important to remember that safety is paramount on a mine site and is taken with the utmost seriousness. If at any point you have doubt as to your health and wellbeing onsite, alert your site escort immediately. Similarly, if you are told to do anything concerning your safety, follow all instructions without delay.
Morila had a lost-time injury free 2011 year. Clocking more than 1.5 million lost-time injury free hours.Source: Rangold Resources, 2011 Annual Report