Sales Marketing Strategies
#1 Inform Yourself Before You Speak
In terms of marketing? Know your target market. Do a simple exercise. Close your eyes and visualize your kindergarten teacher. She is giving you a command that, unbeknownst to you, will continue to be hammered into your ears for the next 20 years of your life.
Teacher after teacher repeated that phrase. And yet, you probably never realized that what they were doing was hammering the most fundamental step of marketing (and sales) into your mind.
“Do your homework!”
It’s a familiar phrase, but there’s no better way to start when it comes to acquiring new customers. Don’t start at all without first doing proper research.
To help put things in perspective – in marketing, we don’t sell to a general audience; we sell to a target audience. When you think of cold sales, a business’s worst problem is a high call volume with few leads resulting in a low conversion rate. Ultimately, the company’s greatest assets – time and money – are wasted.
Increasing conversion isn’t just about pushing your pitch harder. Any marketer knows you can have the perfect message – but with the wrong audience? Good luck.
That’s why marketing and sales experts focus (or should focus) much of their efforts on understanding your buyer persona rather than just developing a perfectly compelling argument. It doesn’t matter if you are a car dealership or food distributor. If you don’t understand your ideal audience, conversion rates will be low. Consider quality over quantity when it comes to attracting prospects.
Tips For “Doing Your Homework”:
- Know their language: Don’t assume they know the same language as you. Only speak the jargon if you know they speak the same jargon, and even then, use it sparingly.
- Find them online through their website, social networks, blogs, and any other means. The information gained from this survey will be helpful when you are talking to them. Just be careful not to share everything you know.
- Appropriate Nouns: Learn details about your audience. Avoid vague statements and give them names and places that you know they identify with whenever possible. If your audience likes athletic shoes, what brand of shoes do they buy the most?.
In the end, it all comes down to putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes. What needs are you meeting for them? This brings us to point #2.
#2 Listen Like A Boss
In terms of marketing? Understand the Buying Cycle.
This is where marketing and sales see a ton of overlaps. Quick reminder: The sales or purchase cycle (also known as the buying process) is a set of steps that a potential customer typically goes through when evaluating a product or brand. The shorter this process is, the closer they are to delivering money.
While “abandonment” is expected at all stages of this cycle, it is the responsibility of the marketer and seller to eliminate as much of this loss as possible. “But how, oh fountain of all knowledge?” you may ask.
The answer boils down to a simple lesson your mother probably tried to teach you – learning to listen. If you’re trying to sell your services to someone early in the buying cycle, they haven’t heard from you. They probably don’t understand the specific language of the product you are using.
So if you use the same tone you use for those at the end of the cycle, you will lose a lot of strength from the start. Adapt your speech according to the current knowledge of the company’s or industry’s customers. But realistically, is knowing a customer’s current location enough to convince them to buy in the buying cycle? Probably not.
Convincing someone to make a purchase takes a lot more than words they can understand. You want to move from “What a great idea, but have a nice day” to “Take this money out of my hands – I should have your product/service immediately.”
This is where the step of being a listening salesperson comes in. The second step is quite simple – finish their story. Marketing is about storytelling. As a good salesperson, you have the unique opportunity to tell one by one of your customers how you can help their “story” be. Hear what they have to say – What keeps them up at night? What needs will you fulfill for them?
Listen for the problems and fill in the solution. Restate what you hear from them by describing their needs, then help them visualize how their personal or business life would improve if you were a part of it.
#3 Sell Yourself
In terms of marketing? Know your unique point of sale.
This point is pretty self-explanatory but still deserves some delving. Whether you’re selling software or sandals, the main thing your customer wants to know is simple: what makes you different? This is not the subject of a college application essay; this is the heart of your sales pitch.
Part of ‘selling yourself’ includes much behind-the-scenes work before talking to a client. You will need to invest time in refining your message. How can you clearly and concisely communicate your value over your competitors in a way that motivates action?
This is where you can incorporate another marketing tactic – testing. Don’t limit yourself to one tactic, and pay close attention to those that seem to generate the most success. With experience and careful thought, you will isolate the elements of your sales approach that generate the most sales, use Google advertising, and other tactics. Don’t be afraid to ask current customers, “So why did you choose us?”
Also, be a nice person. Unfortunately, as a salesperson, you’re probably struggling with an avalanche of negative stereotypes. If you can prove that you are insightful and dynamic, it will reflect well on you and the company.
#4 Don’t Be Annoying
In terms of marketing? Don’t be boring.
Think of it this way: Let’s say you make the mistake of answering a call from an unknown number. To your horror, the voice on the other end is that of a telemarketer. He gives you his pitch – an unapologetic push to get you to sign up for an automatic monthly shipment of gluten-free products.
“Thanks, but I’m not interested.”
They continue to insist. They are products from the best brands and are carefully selected according to your profile. But you couldn’t care less. They keep pushing because you know they sell five different types of gluten-free bread? Your level of annoyance is now like rockets, and you’re left with a hatred for everything that has to do with the company.
The same is true in digital marketing. Repetitive ads and “but wait, don’t leave!” pop-ups can seem aggressive and even desperate.
So how can we get around this? Stop making sales – talk.
The idea behind attraction marketing is this: attract customers by drawing them naturally rather than strategically pushing them towards you, which doesn’t always work.
You can have a significant jump in sales by giving the prospect all the facts, then stepping back and letting them decide. Giving control of the purchase decision back to the customer and appealing to their ability to make wise decisions is better than putting too much pressure on them.
#5 Sales Don’t End After-Sales
In terms of marketing? Remember retention.
Remember our earlier discussion about being a nice person? Yes, about that. Being a nice person is not handing a new client over to the production team and washing your hands.
If you can convince someone to give you their credit card information, you have done something to show your new customer that you are trustworthy and have their best interests in mind.
The main reason they agreed to participate would be because of the relationship they developed with you as they worked through the sales funnel. So please don’t make your company (and yourself) look bad by completely forgetting they exist as soon as you cash your commission.
Relationships are essential, and sometimes even the production team’s best work can be overshadowed by a bad experience with a salesperson. If your goal is to turn your customers into fans of your brand, this will require a little follow-up to make sure they know you love and respect them.
All sales interactions are about face-to-face communication. In the same way, you gain a real friend; you gain a real customer.
Please get to know them, listen to them, give them the best (real) version of yourself, don’t bother them and stay true to them. You’re in sales for a reason, and that reason probably has something to do with your ability to get along with people.