Have you heard either of these before?
The Sales Person: "It’s scary! I don’t want to call people I do not know."
Marketing: "It’s a mystery to me! What worked and what did not work in my marketing plan?"
This is where so many business people can get stuck in launching a successful marketing and sales campaign within their company. Unfortunately, without strong sales and marketing we do not have customers and without customers, well, all we have in is more inventory and debt.
What we have to understand about sales is that people only buy when they are in pain and have the money to solve that pain. When I ask someone to buy, it’s not personal. If they are in pain and have the money to solve the pain, they will buy from me (assuming I can solve that pain).
It’s that simple.
Our job in sales is to find the people who have the pain and the money to solve that pain. Where this job gets complicated is that salespeople have the tendency to focus a lot of attention on prospects who either are not in great pain or don’t have the money to solve the pain.
We accept a "maybe" from our prospects for answers and keep working on getting them to say "yes" even though there is no prize down that path. We keep doing this because it is more comfortable to call on people we already have had contact with and we do not want to admit to ourselves that maybe this person who we hoped would buy from us, just won’t.
The second best answer from a prospect is "no". A "no" allows us to let go, bounce, take an action and find people that have the pain and money to say yes!
Marketing begins to work when the prospect says no. Marketing is critical because we actually can’t sell anything to anyone, we just need to be there when people are ready to buy-period!
Marketing’s job is to consistently inform our prospects (the people who have the pain) that we are here. We retain visibility in front of them so when they are ready to make the buying decision, they call us. We can be considered.
One of my mentors, Robin Creasman calls this "the maybe pile". You get a chance to compete. That’s all we need to do. Most companies close 30% of the proposals they submit. When marketing gets us into the maybe pile we have more chance to close more sales.
Barry Moltz has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. His second book, “Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and the Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success”, teaches how to gain true business confidence. Barry is a nationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship who has given over 100 speeches to audiences ranging from 20 to 20,000.
Every Friday is "grab the mic" day. Want to grab the mic and be a guest blogger on Drew’s Marketing Minute? Shoot me an e-mail.
I think part of marketing is educational and therefore helps customers uncover their pain. For example, if you discovered a prospect of a 50MM company that does not yet have a website, nor realizes the benefits, an education process could get them to understand their need for it. We don’t just wait until the realize their pain, we help them see it.
One key point to note is that we often go after the “maybe’s” because we are comfortable-not because they are the going to buy.
I’ve always thought there was a huge educational component to marketing as well. It’s scary to many people because they don’t understand it. Which puts them in a pretty vulnerable position.
Boy…we do hate to get out of that comfort zone, don’t we?!
@Jay- hard to educate in marketing unless you have a huge budget like a billion dollar corporation. It is much easier to have marketing id the pain.
My lens is high tech and, through this lens, I see that marketing has three jobs.
1.) Condition people that they have pain (or at least it hurts more than they think).
2.) Promote your solution as the best at relieving the pain.
3.) Direct the sales team to where they will most likely find people in pain.
#3 is where marketing usually falls short.
Now to change metaphors…Most sales guys are good at farming, not hunting. As a result (and as Barry points out), they do what is comfortable and may be farming in known, but infertile, territory.
A job of marketing is to prioritize target companies on an opportunity (or fertility or pain) index – one that best matches their needs with your solution. In this way, marketing can give sales information on where they are most likely to succeed.
(Of course, we blogged on this awhile ago here – http://snurl.com/2c2px.)
I’d like to add to the selling section that you should read up on copywriting, especially for your product’s landing page. I’m looking at an copywriting analysis tool that lets you analyze each line of your copy. You can make changes and it recalculates your rating. Sometimes an ! makes a difference. I’d be interested if you have tried the product Glyphius.
Have you worked with clients where the sales force balks at the idea of the marketing people doing their prospecting or in your experience, do most appreciate not having to do that leg work?
Like most people, sales initially balks at the thought of marketing getting involved. But, with results – more money in their pockets – they come around.
Interesting. I’m not familiar with the product. Are you currently using it or are you a part of the company that sells it?
Either way — tell us a little about it, please.
Money is quite the motivator, isn’t it?!