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Selling Chemicals: Four Ways to Reach Decision Makers

Create and win more sales opportunities by reaching product developers more strategically.

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A fundamental goal sales and marketing professionals in the chemicals industry share is to reach decision makers when they’re ready to purchase. For materials suppliers, this has become increasingly more difficult because product formulators, R&D professionals and engineers have more options than ever when making purchases. With relatively minimal effort, a decision maker can find a wealth of material options and alternatives online. Because it’s easier to research, professionals usually consider multiple suppliers prior to making a purchase decision. When selling chemicals, it’s important for sales and marketing professionals to understand when, where and why product formulators and engineers are researching materials. By better understanding how to sell chemicals in a way that meets your customers’ needs, you can create and win more sales opportunities.

Woman Scientist on Computer

At UL Prospector®, we help connect hundreds of thousands of R&D professionals and engineers with material suppliers selling chemicals. Along the way, we’ve gained insights into these professionals’ purchase journeys, and we found that the increase in available material options has changed the way manufacturers research and buy. When we surveyed professionals who use for material research, we found that the majority consider three to five suppliers prior to making a purchase decision. This finding rang true across all industries and departments involved in decision making.

In a world of increased options, here are four ways to help you reach R&D professionals and engineers formulating products during the consideration phase of product development.


1. Make your products visible where your customers are researching their material options

Because most research starts on the web, getting in front of new customers requires knowing how to sell chemicals online. This includes expanding your online presence beyond your own website. By optimizing for organic searches both on and off your website, you increase the potential for new customers to find your products. According to our recent survey of professionals responsible for researching material and ingredient options, the top three resources they use for most or every project are:

  • General search – Google, Bing, Baidu, etc.
  • Supplier websites
  • Industry search engines
    • E.g.,
    • Note: Plastics professionals are even more likely to use industry search engines than other industries.

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Takeaway – Because search engines and your webpages are such a popular way to research material options, you should optimize your content for SEO and keep your technical information up to date on popular industry search engines.



2. Know which trends cause companies to develop new products and reformulate existing ones

Knowing how to sell chemical products requires a good understanding of the chemical industry and trends. Many factors can cause a business to reformulate its products, and businesses frequently consider new suppliers and alternatives when this happens. Because this can create both risk and opportunity, it is important to stay informed. The top trends that prompt R&D professionals and engineers to research alternative products are:

  • Increasing regulations
  • Rising material costs
  • Changing technology

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Takeaway – When these trends impact your customers, you may want to increase your marketing and sales efforts to capitalize on the opportunity, or you may need to shift your product strategy and focus on protecting your current chemical sales.

Subscribe to industry newsletters to stay informed of trends that impact those purchasing your materials and ingredients. The Prospector Knowledge Center is one resource for industry-specific news stories.



3. Capitalize on opportunities for your materials and products

  • What particular characteristics do your materials offer that similar ones cannot?
  • Have there been recent improvements to your products?
  • Are there certain times of the year when your materials and products are purchased more frequently?

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Takeaway – Showcase how the chemicals you are selling are unique. Focus on content on your website as well as on popular search engines. Also, align your marketing and sales efforts with any seasonality trends for your products.



4. Identify and engage with potential customers who are actively researching your products

When someone engages with your technical data on Prospector, you can receive their complete contact information through UL Solutions Connect. We verify and validate user contact information regularly to help you reach potential customers who express interest in your products. Receive insights and qualified sales leads in real time and access them from any internet-connected device.

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Takeaway – Thousands of industry professionals are actively searching for new raw materials and suppliers on Prospector. Empower your sales and marketing teams with actionable insights to fill your chemical sales funnel with Connect.



It is essential to get in front of decision makers when selling chemicals, and it is equally important to understand their needs and buying journey. By knowing how they are researching and selecting materials, you can invest in resources to create new chemical sales opportunities.


Looking for help reaching decision makers?

Contact us today to find out how to list your products on the UL Prospector search engine.


Looking for help reaching decision makers?

Contact us today to find out how to list your products on the UL Prospector search engine.

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