Brilliant, Daron. Simply brilliant. I give you a '10' for this tight, right-on-the-money (no pun intended) article. Keep up the excellent work!
1. "Marketing is my job?" Business was good, but then a sudden change downward. Expectations continue. It's human nature to believe it will pick up by itself or for someone else to do all the marketing and drive more traffic. You are ultimately responsible for filling the sales pipeline. Continually improve your prospecting and marketing skills.
2. "I don't need no stinkin' marketing. I know how to sell." Myth: There's no difference between marketing and selling. Fact: Marketing drives traffic through your door and selling converts prospects to customers-each with a defined role. If you are not in front of as many buyers as it takes for you to create or sustain your chosen lifestyle then learn marketing skills.
3. Myth: "If you can't sell em' in 30 days then move on." Cherry picking isn't the only way to sell. Fact is sometimes people aren't ready. Your marketing should be aimed at developing the relationship. Get prospects on the educational spectrum until they ripen. A well thought out marketing strategy and pre-planned promotional and hopper system will keep your pipeline filled and you will sell more.
4. SOP or seat of the pants selling; The lack of a defined selling process or track to follow to skillfully guide qualified prospects to make a favorable decision. Without a concrete selling process to gauge performance how can you know when to make corrections or enhancements? Examples of selling steps are the greeting, discovery, solutions/demonstration, credibility, agreement and follow-up. Selling basics apply to the web.
5. Telling not selling. People would rather buy than be sold by some slick talking salesperson. An effective discovery process helps reveal your prospect's true needs and wants. Develop a list of relevant questions, take notes, shut up and listen. Practice listening at home with your significant other and especially your children.
6. Killer Close Mentality: The "killer close" mentality came from the days when unskilled salespeople had to rely on some "heavy weight closer" to haul in the buyer with their "tricks" of the trade. In today's world of selling you are the buyer's guide to make the best possible decision. When you have exercised an effective sales interview-closing is a natural conclusion.
7. Moments of Truth - A MOT is any event that creates an impression favorable or unfavorable in the mind of the buyer. Put yourself in your buyer's shoes. Lasting impressions create positive word of mouth advertising more potent than any newspaper, TV or billboard ad. Begin to study little things that create impressions throughout the buying and ownership experience.
8. Poor hand-offs to other departments. A breakdown in communication frustrates buyers. Buyers dislike having to solve problems your product or service creates. They learn to have less confidence in your ability to deliver on the promise and... are less likely to repeat or refer others to you.
9. Cynicism: Put a frog in cold water and let it gradually warm up. It happens so gradual the frog doesn't realize he's being cooked in the squat. Cynicism creeps into conversations in a similar way and can drive away business. Media is a prime source and bad news is contagious. Be informed but not inundated. Feed your mind positive input daily especially during market downturns.
Learn more about the author, Daron Powers.
Thank you Bill! I don't mind telling you what a lift your positive comment gave me. It made me stop playing my bass guitar on this snowy Saturday evening in Michigan and instantly respond. If you don't mind… what for you was… "Right-on-the-Money?" Again thanks and nice to meet you.
Just checked out your marketing web site and it's a compelling story. I'm anxious to get into some of your free marketing reports. No one can know to much eh?
1,2,3,6,7,9 . . . all 9 were great, but those hit home harder, for me, than the others.
If you like the reports . . . I'll send you a special one -- just for you. You'll see. Now get back to your bass and make some music! .-)
Hello Daron, Very Accurate article, as a carrier career salesman I have encountered all 9 aspects you have touched on in both the negative and positive. It is important to continually review the importance of these points as well as others so we do not become comfortable and lazy. I just finished a big fourth qtr closing 100% of what I was working on and reading your article reminded me of keeping focused on the customer and their needs so I do not go into this 1st qtr thinking I know what they need. Thanks and best wishes. Robert
Robert, Congratulations on your 4th qtr closing! You are right on about the continual attention to the key factors that keep you on track. Sometimes it's like spinning plates (remember the Ed Sullivan show?). If you don't mind my asking… What works for you to keep attention on the 9 aspects? And second, what specifically will you do to keep focused on the customer needs first qtr? All the best! Daron
I do feel like I'm spinning plates plenty of days. In fact my assistant and I just re-did our white board for this next qtr and it has more work on it then 4th qtr.
What I have found most helpful to me is I read a great deal of books about customer service, stories from sales people, business owners, etc.
I grab one each morning when I get ready for work and take about 10 minutes and read one of the paragraphs, chapters, quotes, whatever had a impact on me. This seems to get my mind on the right track of customer first and the boost to keep at it. One of the books I like the most is OG Mandino's " Greatest saleman in the world".
This really works for me. Robert
You hit 100% of your goals last quarter… in this poor economy… you read something positive for 10 minutes each morning…
Fact: the morning sets the tone for the day and shapes behavior. Here's a wild thought, what if Americans turned off the bad news and do what you do every day?
My guess is that instead of complaining about problems and what's missing, people would go to work looking for solutions eh?
Daron, I would tend to agree with that idea. I started doing this in October and the results thus far have been very positive and there is no reason for me to believe that would turn out otherwise.
It's funny but I have noticed that when I run into obstacles or situations that may have triggered a bit negative response in the past I now have been able to slow down and look at it with a more positive light.
My 100% closing ratio last qtr I would credit to the belief that I was going to close them all and never waivered on it. I did not see the obstacles as a negative thing. I even had one group go way sideways do to unforseen health issues and send the funding figures off by $80K which sould have killed the whole deal and me along with it, but I held in there and solved the issue to get it back under control. Whenever I had a doubt I would grab one of the books or recall a quote in my head and get charged back up. It has really helped me however you figire it. Robert
It's all about mindset eh?
In the next day or two I'm doing a product launch with another company for something called the 2009 Adventure Pack. It's filled with positive resources to keep you motivated through 2009. If that's something you think you'd be interested in send me your email and I'll let you know when the offer is ready.
All the best!
Thanks for the article. It was very insightful. I am a graphic designer and not a salesman, but I own my own business and therefore I have to be both! One good thing is there usually isn't a break in communications at hand-off from myself (salesman) to myself (designer). :)
Have a great day!