Marketing is more than just advertising and selling products, solutions or services. Marketing addresses all aspects of growing a business's client base as well as attracting new clients to their business.
Highly effective marketing is a necessity, a make or break for some businesses. It's really impossible for businesses to be successful without good marketing and sales techniques. This is what brings dollars through the business door.
Marketing is more than simply letting people know about your products or services. First, you need to know who your customers are. Then you need to get so close to them that you can anticipate their needs and their desires. Businesses must be able to communicate to them the WHY and what your business can provide in order to help.
SALES & MARKETING HARMONY
How many times have we all heard, "Marketing and sales must work simultaneously in a cohesive and harmonious environment." After all, they have the same goal which is to contribute to the overall success of the company by growing pipeline and closing more deals.
While your marketing department has likely invested much around researching the buyer, creating unique selling points and strategically positioning your product, solutions or services in the market; isn't it left to the sales team to successfully communicate this in real-world relatable terms?
I get it, a cooperative relationship between sales and marketing is crucial, however; let's face the facts and get real for a moment, most sales people don't have the luxury of a finely tuned marketing department. Therefore, of equal importance is how are sales people today marketing to their clients and prospects directly?
SALES PEOPLE ARE ENTREPRENUERS, CEOs OF THEIR BUSINESS
Whether you work for a fortune 500 company or inside a small business, as a sales professional you are running your own business. In essence, aren't you independent contractors who happen to receive a paycheck from a larger entity? The companies you all work for provide training, resource and support. Therefore, it's your responsibility to develop new business opportunities, manage existing client relationships and drive sales revenue. Remember, you are running your own business so you must approach each day with the mindset of a CEO.
Being a sales professional is the ultimate form of entrepreneurship. We all know entrepreneurs wear many hats for their business. Today’s entrepreneurial world of sales is multifaceted and fast-moving. Arguably sales’ most crucial role, in addition to closing deals, is maintaining a healthy and abundant sales pipeline. To do this, sales professionals must act as their own marketers, even as their marketing department creates leads.
True sales professionals take action and promote themselves
THE MARKETING OF YOU
Marketing a company or a company’s products isn’t the only type of marketing sales professionals do. Equally important is how they build out, maintain and market their unique personal brand to build trust and credibility with their clients and prospects.
Your potential clients expect a certain set of quality traits from sales professionals. If you have a recognizable brand and reputation then the effectiveness of client retention, upselling or cross-selling greatly increases.
Conversely, word of a great sales professional spreads like wildfire throughout your client's networks and greatly improves your ability to develop relationships with new prospects, as well.
DEVELOP YOUR IDENTITY AND MARKET YOURSELF
As sales professionals, you work for companies that have a brand, mission, and values. While you represent their company, you have your own brand. Sales professionals must go beyond their company brand to develop their own identities and then proactively market themselves. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What value do YOU bring to your clients and prospects as a person?
- What relevant experience do you have that could benefit your clients and prospects?
- Who are you? What do you enjoy? What are you passionate about?
- What can clients and prospects expect from you?
Check out my podcast on creating your identity on Selling from the Heart podcast.
Set aside some alone time to self-reflect. Give thought to how you can communicate and market your meaningful difference to those who matter most. What is unique about you?
What is your positioning message and how do you want to communicate it to your target market? What is your value proposition and how will you use it to open up new conversations.
How do you plan on getting noticed in your marketplace when nobody knows you exist?
MARKET YOUR UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION
In order to successfully market you, every sales professional needs to focus on what makes them special and different. The best way to do this is to express your uniqueness in a single statement. If you can't clearly, concisely and with conviction describe the uniqueness around you then how can you successfully go out and grow your business?
What is unique about you versus your competition? What sets you apart from everybody else? How can you drive this message out into the marketplace?
Think of what social platforms you can use to communicate this message to your clients and prospects?
MARKET YOUR VALUE AND UNIQUENESS
This is a tough one for sales people. It is hard to market yourself and grow your business if you are not clear of the value and your uniqueness you bring to the marketplace. A tenured sales professional, I urge you to go back to your clients who know, like and trust you and ask them, "What is the value I bring to your business?"A true gut check time in testing just how well you know your client and they know you.
A young sales professional who may not have the client base formed yet, go back to your friends, family or centers of influence and ask them the same question. You can phrase it slightly different, "What is the value you think I bring out into the marketplace based on what you know of me?"
Broadcast out into the business community your value. Become the difference maker!
Communicate your promise this is your brand identity.
Sales professionals must clearly communicate and proactively market how they will help to implement a solution and ultimately solve business problems and challenges problem.
Salespeople must be empowered with the tools and resources to market themselves and their company’s offerings. This enables sales people to help create and maintain a sales pipeline that is flowing, growing and constantly evolving which leads to higher conversion rates and greater customer retention.
I will leave you with one of the all-time classic rock band's The Who... As you self-reflect think about Who Are You?
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. I have walked a day in a life of your shoes and still do on a daily basis.
I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow net-new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way!
In 2016, Larry was recognized by ENX Magazine, “The Difference Maker” as someone who is making a difference inside the copier channel. Larry is passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image
You can find more blog posts inside the Social Sales Academy website.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire B2B Office Technology Sales Professionals to grow net-new business by helping them tell their story and communicate integrating the use of social. My commitment is to help office technology dealers thrive in a drastically changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Social Sales Academy and on my podcast at Selling from the Heart.