Marketing is all about getting your company noticed or putting your company in front of people, preferably people who might be a prospective client, and making sure that the message is clear, enlightening, poignant, and relevant without turning people off. Sales is the follow up to marketing. It’s the reason we market. It’s simply the act of selling your services or products once you have successfully made contact with your client prospect. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it isn’t.
More companies fail at simple marketing than in any other aspect of their business. I read more garbage emails and posts on marketing that just simply fails to spark an ounce of interest. Forbes Magazine had a good article outlining some key points marketing should NOT involve:
- Stop making everything all about you. Put the audience, the prospect, first and foremost on any marketing efforts.
- Stop making everything complicated. It’s just plain simple. Don’t make it so hard and realize that your prospect doesn’t care about all the details, just the results.
- Stop acting like a robot. People are almost lost on the Internet. That’s probably why social media is making such headway. It’s personal.
- Stop speaking to yourself. Get out of the office and meet some prospects face to face. It’s personal.
- Stop focusing on tasks and activities. What’s the result, not how many emails were sent out. Are you getting results is all that matters. The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is what we need to know. More on that below.
- Stop being anti-social. The way things are going, we may not talk to each other at all in a few years. Let’s keep the conversation going. Talk to people instead of just texting or emailing. You’ll get better results.
- Stop holding on to the past. There’s nothing worse than talking about the “good old days” when things were ramping up to impossible standards. It’s NOW, not then.
That all being said, don’t keep doing the same old thing. It’s not working or you wouldn’t be reading this. Start trying something new. Especially if it’s uncomfortable. If it’s comfortable, then it’s probably not working. You are at where you are at because of what you’ve done and you’ve done what you’ve done because of where you were at. Try some new tactics and measure the results with analytics so you can judge the KPI.
The KPI and Keys to Sales Success
It’s all about the Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Go to the trusty source of all things these days, Wikipedia, and you’ll find the following: organizations may use KPIs to evaluate success, or to evaluate the success of a particular activity in which it is engaged. Sometimes success is defined in terms of making progress toward strategic goals, but often success is simply the repeated, periodic achievement of some level of operational goal.
Once the marketing has been achieved to the satisfaction of the prospect, the sales aspect looms large. Sales tactics are all over the board and can be found on the Internet and in life in regular intervals. But, some of the things we see missing in many sales people is the ability to simply understand what the client’s or prospect’s needs are. The following are some Key Points from a recent Google Engage moderated webinar that we found useful:
Key 1: Emotional vs. Logical Needs – people and businesses buy emotionally, but rationalize with logic. Discover what the client or prospect finds emotionally stimulating but also realize what they need to rationalize their purchase from what is the emotional AND logical needs.
Key 2: Listen to Understand vs. Listen to Respond – this is a delicate balance between understanding their comments or objections and responding to them. Listening to understand what they are saying and their needs versus listening to respond to their objections or questions is an important differentiation.
Key 3: Discovery – what are their expectations of you as a potential partner. People don’t ask enough questions but jump to the solution. Are you discovering as you discuss or are you just telling them? Discover what the client wants and what their short and long term goals are. What is the KPI for them? Every client thinks they have a unique situation and have a unique offering.
Key 4: Answering the Major 8 Objections
- Cost – the biggest objection and easiest to define.
- Terms & Conditions – the proposal might have some issues, so find out what they are and fix them.
- No Need – they just don’t see a need for what you are offering and work with us on their advertising.
- Think About It – is it a true objection? Maybe they are just putting you off to get you out of their face.
- Hassle Factor – is it too much trouble to go through with what you are offering versus their perceived benefit from this.
- Experience – do we have the experience to handle the job.
- Have to Talk to a Colleague, Boss, or Spouse – a potential indicator that they are putting you off or maybe that you are not talking to the right person.
- A Previous Bad Experience – it may be that they have tried it before and it didn’t work. If so, they are going to need reassurances.
People hate to be sold but enjoy buying. Everyone needs and wants something different in the sales process. You need to create a non-confrontational process for selling whereby you are just the harbinger of good news for them and you are working with them to find the best solution for them.
Key 5: The Process –
- Clarify and Listen – try to understand what their objection is and listen to the answers. Don’t sound confrontational in response. Sound supportive and use the correct voice tone. Don’t argue or confront them.
- Restate and Cushion – restate the question and support it with final cushioning to ensure you understand and show them that you understand.
- Draw it out – ask them if there are more objections. If one of their objections is that they have to go to a partner or boss or spouse, what might their objections also be? Find out what they might object to?
- Isolate – try to isolate the issues they have so that you can break it down to handling one objection at the time. Which objection should we talk about? That’s the main one, so resolve it and the others might go away.
- Respond – only after you have determined all the others do you respond to any of them. You need some evidence to support your response. If they have a specific objection, then provide some evidence or previous experience that might help overcome that objection.
- Trial Close – tie down the objections and see if they are interested in closing by asking some simple questions like “so, does that make sense?” Are they ready to close, or have you not answered all their objections?
The process should help reduce the resistance and make them more receptive. You need to become their consultant or assistant and not a salesman. You must show interest in their company and how it can best help their company.
If you are looking to get noticed on the Internet but don’t know where to begin, let PTC Computer Solutions help you get started or help improve your current website and website marketing plan. We can plan a full budget for your company and complete any web marketing efforts you wish to achieve to deliver a consistent and effective message to your prospects. Contact David W. B. Parker (when you think of “W. B.” think of WeB) at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.ptccomputersolutions.com for more information.
By David W. B. Parker
PTC Computer Solutions