Sales & Marketing Tips 6 through 10.
[NOTE: THIS IS PART 2 OF THIS POST. FOR TIPS 1-5, GO TO Part 1].
6. THINK OF SALES & MARKETING AS AN INVESTMENT, NOT AN EXPENSE
It’s not pleasant to pull out your checkbook to pay for an expense. But what if you knew that the check you were writing for $5,000 would bring in $30,000 in profits? That’s an easier check to write.
Of course, not all sales and marketing dollars will yield a positive return. You don’t necessarily know what will work well and what won’t.
Think of your sales and marketing dollars like an investment portfolio. You first determine how much money you’ll be investing. From there, you buy certain investments (things like marketing campaigns or commissions you pay out). You want to have a well-balanced portfolio and keep track of how well your investments are performing.
A major ingredient of success is how well you can manage this portfolio. For example, you might try a specific marketing campaign that brings in lots of new customers. As long as it’s working, you’d be crazy to stop spending money on the campaign—even if you’re exceeding your original budget for it.
By spending money on sales and marketing, you should see a corresponding boost in revenue. To ensure that happens, though, you need to effectively manage these expenditures.
7. HIGHLIGHT END RESULTS
Many businesses make the mistake of leading communications with customers by talking about features. It’s more effective to start with the end results customers are seeking.
Let’s say a man walks into a hardware store to buy an electric saw. Is he more interested in the machine itself or how it will help him build a new piece of furniture? It’s the latter.
That, then, is what you as the salesman would want to talk about with him.
No matter what you’re selling, don’t lead conversations by talking about specific dimensions, the materials something is made from, the process you use to construct it, or any other features. You’ll get to those details later.
Instead, figure out the end results buyers are looking for and start your conversations there.
8. STOP FOCUSING ON YOURSELF—FOCUS ON YOUR CUSTOMERS
Too many business owners are fixated on themselves instead of their customers. Chet Holmes described this concept well in his book The Ultimate Sales Machine. He said it’s as if businesses are always looking at themselves in the mirror. What they should be doing, he said, is turning those mirrors into windows–and then looking through them to see what customers really want.
Similarly, don’t fall in love with your own business–fall in love with your customers. That way, you can understand what your customers’ problems are and how to best solve them. Remember that in business you’re rewarded for solving problems, not for telling the world how great you are.
Think about your own sales pitches. Talking about how great you are is not nearly as effective as telling customers how you can provide a solution to a specific problem they have.
9. TEST AND MEASURE
When you try new approaches, such as exploring a new channel, the best strategy is to perform an inexpensive test and then measure your results. For example, let’s say you currently use three channels for generating leads.
If you want to try out a fourth channel, devote a fixed part of your budget to running an experiment. Spend enough money so that you can make an informed opinion about the performance.
10. LOOK OUTSIDE OF YOUR OWN INDUSTRY
It’s good to see what other businesses in your industry are doing in the way of sales and marketing. However, if you only look at (and follow) what businesses in your own industry are doing, you’ll miss out on some good ideas you could use to promote your business.
Jay Abraham, a famous business strategist, points out that businesses within the same industry all pretty much market themselves in the same way. It’s like they’re all reading from the same playbook.
He advocates studying what strategies businesses outside of your industry use. You’ll pick up some good ideas that you haven’t thought of before—and neither have your competitors.
Sales and marketing is one of the biggest “leverage points” for your business. By improving this area, your business can see massive returns. Use these tips to help you get moving in the right direction.
As a business coach, I help owners tackle a wide variety of issues, including sales and marketing. For example, I help owners understand how much they should be spending in this area; what kinds of activities they should be performing; how to optimize their activities for the biggest impact; how to measure effectiveness; how to manage internal teams and outside providers; and much more.
To read more about how I help business owners through 1-to-1 coaching, click here.
To read Sales & Marketing tips 1 through 5, go to Part 1.