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3 Reasons why your Marketing may not be working

Marketing drives sales, right?

Wrong.

In a world of the empowered customer, the old ‘marketing drives sales’ model is becoming grossly out of date.

Sure, marketing is still very important: it’s just that the order of action has changed, and marketing now fits in differently, and may have a very different role.

Here are 3 key reasons why you current Marketing may not be working:

  1. Push rather than pull: most marketing is based simply on a ‘push’ philosophy, and indeed this is still taught at most business schools. The reality of a customer empowered world is that your customer doesn’t believe a word you say when you’re trying to push them: they can find out all they need to know about you from reviews on the web, discussion forums, and comments on social media. Intelligent marketeers in this new world change from trying to ‘push’ to trying to ‘pull’, through being genuine, responsive and truly remarkable.

2. Polishing a turd: let’s face it, we all want to hype ourselves up a bit, and present a ‘click bait’ image to the                 world: yet, we need to get a grip on ourselves and stop trying to polish turds. The empowered customer will find           the truth over time, and if we’ve quietly under promised and over delivered, they’ll love us and promote us to              their friends. If, on the other had, we’ve over promised (which is known as ‘normal’ in many marketing circle),            and then slightly under delivered, our unpolished turds will be lain bare for all the world to see … and there’ll be          nothing we can do about it.

3. Your agenda, not their agenda: the traditional approach of marketing is to try and expose how ‘great’ we               think our products and services are, in the most efficient way possible, to our target market. The reality is that             customers don’t give a damn: they’re only interested in what they want, and how your product or service will               solve a need in their life. In a world where customers can research answers to their needs at the touch of a                     button, any place, any time, your opinion on the ‘greatness’ of your products or services is now irrelevant, and             instead just gets in the way of your customer finding what they want. Focus instead on making life easy for your           customer, and giving them the perception that you genuinely care about their needs.

A good example of ‘new marketing’ would be: publishing articles that don’t sell anything, they just add value to the reader. If the reader gets value from them, they may well then contact you when they need some help in that area. Like this article!

In a nutshell:

  • In the old world of one way mass communication, and the relatively dis-empowered customer: your marketing was the mainstay of your route to market: it was the best solution for you and your customer.
  • In the new world of two way mass communication, and relatively empowered customers, your marketing instead needs to add value to your brand and customer relationship: then, and only then, will they spread the word to those around them. Then you’ll be a winner.

So, what to do about it: see our next blog: 4 steps to make your marketing more effective, which will be posted soon.

If you like what we’re saying and want to know more, without any obligation, please email support@salesthroughservice.com and ask for our free ebooks on ‘The 7 Deadly Sins of Sales and Service’

How to sell as much as you can, as quickly as you can

Selling is the world’s second oldest profession … often disguised as the first. It is also a noble profession, designed to:

  • Get the right products to the right people, in the right place, and at the right time
  • Drive continual innovation and improvement
  • Help people get what they need in order to be successful and happy in their lives

Yet a tragedy has happened involving this distinguished profession over the last couple of hundred years: as mechanisation and one way mass media has dominated the world of commerce, this over supply of goods has severely warped traditional sales… to such an extent where ‘selling’ has almost become a dirty word.

And marketing is in the same boat (as marketing is just a part of selling).

This shows up in behaviours (from both individuals and organisations) such as:

  • Quick fix ‘selling techniques’ continually promoted (we call this ‘chasing butterflies while the elephants are escaping’)
  • Marketing that over promises (and usually under delivers)… (often called ‘polishing turds’)
  • Processes aimed at only today (and we’ll worry about tomorrow if and when we get there)
  • The aim of ‘making sales and profit target this quarter’ driving all process and behaviour (while customer experience, reputation and loyalty go out of the window)
  • A continual cycle of MD’s and Sales Managers cajoling, threatening and demanding in ever more desperate attempts to meet targets
  • Sales training coaching and training to embed new ‘sales processes’

Indeed, in many organisations, this warped belief in ‘how to sell’ and ‘what the shareholders want us to do’, has become almost impossible for individuals to kick against the pricks and do the right thing: resulting (when this institutional disfunctionalism is exposed to the public) in major scandals (such as Enron) and market meltdowns (such as the one of 2008).

But the world has now changed.

We are now in an age of organisational transparency, worldwide whistle blowing and customer empowerment via online reviews and social media.

Continuing to act in the old dysfunctional ways of the industrialised mass market and one way mass media, this world is now driven by global innovation and two way mass media is madness. This ‘brave new world’ calls urgently for a return to the traditional values of selling, such as:

  • Unconditional trust
  • Systems obsessively focused on customer needs (whether they purchase today or not)
  • Customer engagement through feedback and collaboration

This is the new approach to selling … and it’s also a return to the old traditional values of customer reputation and loyalty. So, instead of the previous dysfunctional aim to ‘sell as much as you can as quickly as you can’ (through marketing and selling tricks and ‘quick result techniques’), the new way to REALLY sell as much as you can as quickly as you can, is what we call ‘Slow-Selling’.

If you like the sound of this so far, then we think you’ll love the ideas we put forward … so keep looking out for our posts.

If you think this is idiotic – why on earth would anyone want to ‘sell slowly’ – then I suggest you waste no further time and instead go too Google, search ‘How to sell more quickly’ and take it from there …

For more information on all of this material, please see our site www.salesthroughservice.com or email us at support@salesthroughservice.com

The 5 outcomes to a Sales Process (and not all of them are great!)

In most ‘traditional’ sales strategies, the focus is usually on ‘getting a sale’.

However, this is far too simplistic… in today’s world of instant online reviews and the empowered customer, it’s downright dangerous. In fact there are five outcomes to a sales process, and they all need to be considered, trained and considered in order to get great long term sales results.

This is so much more than just ‘hitting target this week’!

Let’s look at each outcome in turn, from worst to best, and suggest a few strategies to make you more effective in each of them.

  1. ‘I’ll come back to you’: this is called a ‘no decision’: where the customer hasn’t made a decision, or has made one but hasn’t told you! The output of this is usually monumental time-wasting and unnecessary time, cost and aggro.
  • The main reason for this outcome is: you haven’t done your job properly (the customer hasn’t trusted you enough to keep discussing with you until they were confident to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. OR they don’t trust you enough to tell you what they’re REALLY thinking.)

2. ‘Yes’ for the wrong reasons: this is where you get the sale, but for the ‘wrong’ reasons. ‘So what’s wrong              with this? I’ve got the sale … happy days!’ you may ask. Well yes, that may be the case if you describe ‘happy days’        as:

  • High levels of complaints and returns
  • High levels of poor online reviews
  • Business success dependent more and more on deals and ‘special offers’

3. ‘No’ for the wrong reasons: this is where you don’t get the sale, but you should have: you would have                  been the best supplier for the job, but you weren’t able to build enough rapport and get the customer to trust                enough for them to understand the full nature of their need, the market, and how you could be the best long                  term solution for them.

4. ‘No’ for the right reasons: many sales managers would like to rip my tongue out for this, but a ‘no’ for the           right reasons is a ‘good’ outcome.

  • This is where you’ve built a great relationship with the customer, and have together agreed that, all things considered, your solution isn’t the best fit for the client, and you help them instead by pointing them in other directions.
  • If you do your sales properly, although this customer won’t use you today, when and if their need changes, they’ll come back to you, they’ll recommend you, and they might well use your services anyway (fully aware that you’re not a 100% fit) because you’re so helpful and trustworthy … and, by the way, no matter what your marketing manager tells you, you can NEVER sell something to everyone … you’ll NEVER get 100% success rate: it’s blindingly obvious common sense, so stop worrying about it and instead just ENSURE all your ‘No’s are gained for the right reasons!

5. And of course, the ‘best’ outcome is always a ‘yes’ for the ‘right’ reasons: this is where you not only get the             sale today, but you also get great levels of customer happiness, loyalty and reputation: a true win/win!

So, how do you ensure you get none of no’s 1,2 and 3, and all of 4 and 5?

There are 4 steps:

  1. Get your beliefs straight: if the above information makes you shout ‘halleluja’ then this isn’t a problem. If you’re worried about the above, then you’re going to struggle.

2. Put in ‘customer focused marketing (and sales) processes’, focused on delivering the 3 key customer needs at           every step:

a) Uncompromising trust

b) Obsessive focus on making it as easy as possible for the customer to deal with you (whether they say ‘yes’ or             ‘no’)

c) Continual attention, no matter what the outcome is:

i) (If you get the sale, it’s just the start … you then have to consistently blow their socks off)

ii) (If you don’t get the sale, it’s just the start of a relationship where you stay in touch PROPERLY: it’s taken                long enough to find them, don’t just drop them)

3. Step by step sales system, proactively building trust and relationships and an up front contract to make a decision ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based on agreed criteria and constant assurance that ‘It’s OK to say ‘no’’. Continually developed and improved using customer feedback.

4. Proactive professional (3rd party) feedback from all customers to help you continually improve and develop all the above points and reward behaviour consistent with these challenging beliefs and rules. This should be gathered from:

a) The ones who said ‘yes’

b) The ones who said ‘no’

c) The ones who said ‘not now’

And that is the 5 outcomes to a sales process.

For more information or to license or use our sales, experience, loyalty and reputation systems, please contact us: support@salesthroughservice.com

How do I formulate a sales strategy?

How do I formulate a sales strategy?

Of course you want a sales strategy, otherwise you might look silly at a meeting and get terrible sales results.

But, let’s face it, how many ‘sales strategies’ have you seen that were based on wishful thinking and numbers picked out of the air (at best!)?

So, instead of seeing the need for a ‘sales strategy’, we suggest you start formulating a ‘buying strategy’ instead. You might perhaps be well advised to consider:

  • How can we manage and build our reputation so it spreads for the right reasons?
  • How can we encourage great reputation and continual referrals?
  • How can we ensure customers become more and more loyal to us and want to buy more and more things?
  • How can we become indispensable and remarkable to them?

And then, when you’ve nailed this, you can start considering the next step … a ‘sales strategy’ …

  • Now that we’ve done the above brilliantly, how can we make sure that people can find us easily and want to say ‘yes please’ quickly?

After all, this is the age of the empowered choosy consumer, who shops around the world and can make or break you at the touch of a button.        stratergy

Please contact us at support@salesthroughservice.com for our free SHORT ebook on this subject called ‘The 7 Deadly Sins of Sales (and what to do about them)’!