Marketing v Selling
Posted on 31st May 2023 at 17:10
I was reading a post the other day – posted by a well respected friend of mine who is an awesome marketeer. I respect his skills as a marketing Guru.
However – his post was totally inaccurate from a sales point of view. He stated, to increase your sales, get used to prospects saying ‘No’. He went on:- prospects are not saying no to you (they ARE), so don’t take it personally. They’re saying ‘No’ to the offer, the product or the costs. Let me be clear – they ARE saying ‘No’ to YOU. People buy from people, right? So, if people DO buy from people, they’re also NOT buying from people. Take it personally, take it very personally AND learn from it.
The upshot of his point was that if we (YOU) get used to hearing ‘No’ you will not be put off and will give more presentations and when people say ‘no’ you won’t stop presenting. So basically, your work rate will go up, but you’re expecting ‘No’ results. That can’t be good for your psyche or mental health, can it?
Here’s where sales and marketing differ.
Marketeers bring in leads, any lead will do. Sales people (like me) want fewer generic leads and more specifically-interested-in-my-product leads.
WHY would you work so hard at attracting prospects when you’re expecting them to say ‘No’?
My solution is this, and I COVER it in greater detail in my book. Advertise to find the right prospects, people who are in the market for your offerings. THEN, price condition them BEFORE you go and present to them. I would NEVER go on an appointment (driving costs, time costs, loss of income from ‘Yes’ prospects) before I have gotten an idea that the prospect understands what I am offering and a rough idea of the price implications.
In my presentations I will kill off the competition (ethically and with the prospect’s understanding & agreement), by the time you deliver the price, they ought to think you’re UNDER-charging them. With this style of presenting, you will invariably get ‘Yeses’ not ‘No’s’
As for validation of this point – I never get a ‘no’ after my presentation. Occasionally (less than 3/10) I will still get a ‘money objection’ but your never going to win them all. If you have a strategy (justified price drop, “If I can – Will you…?) to overcome a money objection, you have a great chance to sign it up. Got to be better than walking away happy with a ‘No’ yes?
I sell a lot of stuff and I SELL IN TODAYS MARKET PLACE. It works for me. What’s your thoughts, am I wrong?
Natural Born Salesman
I believe NOT!
Selling is sometimes looked upon as a dark art, something that other people are good at or it is hoped marketing will bring in more sales. Most business owners I know are great at what they do - but lack the ability to 'sell' themselves, their business or products. They believe someone like me is a natural born salesman. ‘Not true’ I tell them, I was a shy kid and scared of my own shadow - so what changed. My mindset AND the need to earn money quickly.
Not one good salesman I know or have worked alongside was born a good sales person. Over their lives they have developed skills to aid them in selling. Skills such rapport building, self-confidence and resilience. They needed a grounding in basic selling skills but other than that, it’s all about the desire to succeed. Anyone can sell - we have all sold something. Everyone married has given at least one great sales pitch that someone has bought!
One thing we must have to sell effectively is passion. Enthusiasm will give you in spades what you lack in ability. I have never sold anything I didn't believe in passionately. When you speak about your products, the prospect must be able to pick up on your passion and enthusiasm. Once you feel this passion -- your halfway there. The next step is influencing the prospect into believing you are the answer to their prayers. Selling AND influencing will bring you so much more business, win more clients and get those referrals coming in.
Read more in my new book – ‘How to convert a HOT prospect’
So the advert and the prospecting has begun to bring in results – we’re getting phone calls or emails suggesting the person is interested in our offering.
Most businesses are going to be shooting out of the gates and making a bee line for the prospect’s money by getting a sales person on their couch. 'BUT WAIT' I say.
Let’s begin with the initial appointment setting process - don't just hurry to get a salesman sat in front of the client. That could be a real waste of time and manpower. I will rule them out in a heartbeat to save my time. I ensure at this stage the prospect wants my stuff and not just some cheap crud my competitors are flogging. Ask pertinent questions to see if 'we' really want 'them' to take up valuable time when they have no real urgency to buy from us. Yes - you might find that the client doesn't really want to buy anything - they're just satisfying an urge to find out if they can afford a product. They might be looking to re mortgage next year and add something to the budget. In this case, even the best salesman you have won't/can't close the deal.
Once we find a need for the product/service we offer we need to ascertain a time frame.
Ask whether they have other quotes in the pipeline (I don't relish being first across the door, so I set my appointment AFTER they have collected a few quotes)
Ask about their timeline - when do they want it fitted/delivered.
I also ask if they want the best or the cheapest!! If they answer ‘cheapest’ I’ll probably not bother going. If they say ‘we want the best, but not sure what that is or what it costs etc’ – I’m going - to educate them.
Once I have all the information and have tried to rule the prospect out, only then will I decide to sit the appointment.
In this telephone questioning phase - that is when the real influencing begins. I find if you mention just a couple choice phrases (throw away lines - like, ‘we are running possible discounts to one home in that area’) you will be amazed at how much they will push to be the 'discounted' customer. Pretty much closing themselves.
In short – I decide if I want to sit an appointment, after all – it’s my time I’ll be investing. I also make it fit with my schedule not the prospects. I will give the prospect an illusion they have a say by asking ‘I’m available Monday or Tuesday, does Monday work for you?’ I will then say ‘I can be with you for 10 or 11am – which is best?’ I then fill up both days with other appointments (who have also ruled themselves in) to maximise my round trip. In two days I might sit 4 or 5 apps having conditioned them over the phone. I went to one last week having said it’ll be about £4500 in my price conditioning, I actually sold at £5000 after a discounted rate. It was mostly sold in my appointment setting phase.
Read more in my new book – ‘How to convert a HOT prospect’
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