Posts Tagged ‘sales secrets

17
Jul
08

The Magic Marketing Bullet – revealed

For years now I’ve kept this highly guarded secret to myself because I didn’t want to let clients in on something that would surely render me useless to them. It’s not like I haven’t been asked a thousand times to reveal this secret – it comes up all the time in various forms but the essence of the question sounds like “What is The Magic Bullet marketing thing I can do to instantly transform my business into a customer acquisition powerhouse?”

I know it is selfish of me to keep this magic to myself – after all, a guy’s got to eat and pay the rent. A client who knew this sacred information would know how easy it is to dominate competition and grow their customer list and that doesn’t make economic sense for the marketing and advertising industry. In fact, the Industry has kept this information locked up in secret, hidden file cabinets for years to ensure they have an unending stream of clients who will pay them to reveal bits and pieces of The Magic Bullet – but never revealing the entire Bullet. I can’t say I blame them either.

So, lucky reader, I am going to risk banishment from the marketing industry by revealing what nobody will ever tell you – the secret behind The Magic Marketing Bullet. Are you ready? Are you sitting down?

THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET.

That’s right. You read that correctly. No magic. No secret sauce. No universal inspiration. Nothing. Zip.

I think what is so intriguing about The Magic Bullet is the idea that you could just do one simple thing and and it would instantly create demand and drive customers crazy to the point where they can’t wait to write a check. But nothing in business (or in life) works this way.

A successful marketing program is implemented on many fronts – more like a constant stream of highly targeted bullets. No single tactic drives the success of the program – although certain tactics will rise to the top in terms of effectiveness. The real secret (if it even is a secret) is that the bullets will all work together to produce an effect that is greater than the sum of the parts. Some will hit the target, some won’t and some will ricochet and eventually hit a target.

Marketing and sales programs don’t just happen. These days building a strong client base takes time and is hard work. It’s not a sprint race – more like a slog through an obstacle course. A lot of the work isn’t sexy or fun – it just has to be done.

I wish I had some Magic to share. If we meet, I can probably pull a quarter out of your ear or shove a salt shaker through the table but if you need me to transform your business, that’s going to be a bit more work.

The good news is: It is totally possible. We just need to commit to the process and execute consistently. Maybe that’s the magic bullet right there. What do you think?

10
Jul
08

Chinks in the armor

I hate buying stuff. It’s like I have to be some kind of Sherlock Holmes to select a vendor and not get burned. Sometimes it’s easy to eliminate the jokers – they show up unprepared, don’t listen, and generally talk their way out of a sale. Others are not so easy. They say the right things, offer up gleaming case studies, have good sales skills, polished shoes and generally seem like a good option. The trouble is that usually there are several companies who have very similar capabilities and good sales pitches. How do I make the right decision?

Most business buyers experience similar things when going through a selection process. Their process is typically not one of inclusion. Instead it is a process of elimination – evaluating tangible information and leveraging intuition to determine who makes the short list and who doesn’t.

You might think they are hanging on every word of your carefully crafted sales pitch but the fact is they are looking for what I call “chinks in the armor”. Those tell-tale gaps that send the message that you may not be as good as you say.

The most common mistakes that kill sales

1. Sales person appearance and demeanor.
This one might seem obvious but I’m surprised at how often this fundamental rule is ignored by sales people. From wrinkled clothing and scuffed shoes to unshaven faces and renegade nose hairs, your personal appearance tells a story – and not necessarily the story you want. My personal downfall is my tendency to let my hair get too long. Some people look good with long hair, I look homeless.

2. Lack of sales process
One thing I’ve learned is that customers want to know that I know what to do next during the sales process. The very fact that I have a defined process sets me apart from competing interests that simply go in and sell, sell, sell! My ability to avoid “selling” and simply let the customer buy sends a strong message that I’m organized, I know what I’m doing and my focus is on them.

3. Unprofessional marketing communications
I know many companies that have mastered the above issues. Then, they whip out a brochure or send the prospect to a web site that looks and reads like it was created by a sixth grader. Ouch. For most prospects, this communicates volumes about the seller. This major mistake implies that the seller is unsophisticated, low quality, doesn’t care about its image or products, or worse. For most B-B sellers, the web site or a brochure doesn’t do the selling. However, it can enhance or destroy your chances to outclass competitors depending on how it reads, looks and functions. Perhaps you could get away with a crappy web site back in 1996, but not anymore.

4. Unresponsive people
When someone calls your office do they get a crazy maze of automated options or do they talk to a real person? Either option can ruin your chance at a sale. For example, a well thought out automated phone system that allows callers to quickly reach the person they need is fine. However, if it is confusing, doesn’t work right or worse yet, simply dumps callers into voicemail with no option to dial “0” for an operator, you are toast. Likewise, if your human receptionist speaks like he’s just graduated from second grade, doesn’t know your web address, can’t articulate what the company does or sounds like a zombie, it sends a negative message.

5. Conflicting messaging
If you are trying to convince the world that you are “all that” but every time they hear or see something about your company it’s a different message, your prospect’s doubt will grow. It’s understandable that sales and marketing messages can change over time, the key is to make sure that you update your information everywhere it appears. Not easy, but critical!

Sales is a game of gaining incremental edges over competition. The smallest things can defeat you if you aren’t paying attention. We are all guilty of this at some point. It’s a challenge for large and small companies alike. You’ll never be perfect, but if you pay attention, you can be just that much better than your competitors – and that’s all it takes to win.




Who is Pete Monfre

CLICK HERE to visit my web site

I'm a serial entrepreneur, marketing and media guy, raconteur, writer, producer and consultant. I write this little blog to help you unravel the mysteries of marketing and selling, to expose the silliness that masquerades as marketing and help you make better decisions that will grow your business. And I have fun with it. Why not comment? That way we can have a conversation. Or better yet, hop on over to my web site and drop me a line.

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