|Dec 11, 2013|| Sales and Marketing 101
It’s time for a sales and marketing refresher on positioning yourself, brainstorming ideas and getting your message out there. Promotion is all about saying something to an audience. The word promotion is what people think when they hear the term marketing. Marketing is about business and business is about marketing. The two terms, "business" and "marketing" are the same where creating value creates customers.
Selling is a subset of marketing. There only difference between sales and marketing is that sales are 1 on 1 whereas marketing is 1 to many. Both use the same tools: verbal, written, physical, electronic or other. Sales are not only about ‘closing the deal’ because customers can hopefully visit your site to buy. We don't need a sales effort to create customers and marketing isn’t only about shiny brochures and catalogues.
Positioning means creating products that serve a unique customer need. If you do not identify a competitive difference, you become a commodity seller (where price, not quality or value, rules the day). As suppliers we must do something better than anyone else.
Messaging are the words used when you speak to your customer. Your message must be directed to them and kept simple whether in person or in a campaign. What about speaking directly to the customer? This is usually left out in both sales and marketing efforts. Two examples: a salesperson starts speaking about his company’s great products, and sounds like a brochure. Or a brochure is sent highlighting the company/product instead of being about what matters: the customer. "We are the best!” "Our products are the best! What does your message mean to your customer?
Sales and marketing both agree that you are looking for many customers who share the same needs or characteristics. Position yourself by create value and design your messages to keep your customer first and foremost.
|Nov 04, 2013|| Psychological Sales and Marketing
Customers who want to buy do not have to be sold. How do you reach such buyers? It mostly comes down to psychology, not the best product or service. Serve customers the right way. The right way is based on their personality because there is no one right product or one right way to treat them. Customers want to be treated with respect more than being treated nicely.
Treating someone right doesn’t mean being nice and agreeable. You have to be respectful and strict which means treating them responsibly: give the facts, agree on process and call them out if they go against the rules. Customers love sales that are straight shooting. They want truth and guidance.
Give yourself permission to be real with customers; here are some common psychological approaches to winning deals:
Many sales people go wrong when they think mass marketing magically results in deals without ever knowing the customer or engaging them. This doesn’t work. You must deal with people.
Engage the customer. Talking about how good you are doesn’t work until you have customer interest. Resist talking about your product. Build your brand through quality discussions so the customer thinks: “Their product must be good too!”
If you are in a position to make the customer a hero this should become the focus of your strategy. Being a hero describes being responsible enough to take care of them, as they deserve, and in every way. Remind customers of these things and they respond.
Everyone likes to be praised which is a powerful sales tool. Many deals happen because you make someone feel good. Appreciate your customers and they will buy from you.
Seasoned sales professionals don’t sell but rather stay engaged and wait patiently. Send useful information; connect to say “Hi”, be personable and professional. This bears fruit because customers warm up eventually. Remember not just to touch base trying to sell but to actually care.
Tune into your customer's mindset to understand what game they are playing and then join in!
|Sept 23, 2013||Demystifying the Sales Process - Part II
There are three perspectives in the sales process: the Buyer's, Seller's and Marketer's. In this edition of the Market Mash we learn about the Buyer’s path. Before moving forward let’s review the general guidance discussed last month.
Sales Process Management: General Guidance
Use Common Sense: This is the customer's discussion so be straightforward. Keep It Simple: Focus on clarity; making sure the customer is happy. Stay Focused On Value: Explain the benefits to your solution. Keep Moving Forward: Your agenda is solving the customer's problem and the next steps.
The Buyer's Perspective: The First Five Steps
The process begins with the required steps to making a purchase. These are common sense steps but are a guide to overcoming obstacles.
(1) Identify Need: Customers seek to buy solutions for their needs. Needs are pain-points (high costs, inefficiencies etc.) or simple desires. Part of your job is making a customer aware of a hidden need.
(2) Determine Requirements: Defining the solution to the customer's need. Help the customer analyze their needs so that you can show your knowledge and experience. This will build trust and presents you as an expert.
(3) Evaluation: Once requirements are defined, the next step is evaluating solutions. There are two kinds of evaluations: competing solution offers and your solution.
(4) Negotiation: Buyers will always bargain. The common reaction is to defend your price but stay relaxed and candid. Always frame the discussion with respect to value. Treat people like you want to be treated yourself. Are there other incentives you can offer? Sometimes a gentle nudge is all that’s required to make the sale.
(5) Purchase: Once a purchase has been completed, all customer doubts are cast aside and they become your friend. Show your appreciation! You can do no wrong at this point so lay a foundation for the future.
Next Month: The Seller's Path and the next Five Steps
|Aug 22, 2013||Demystifying the Sales Process
The Sales Process for the Promotional Products Industry
The Sales Process
Sales and Marketing 101