A Salesperson’s Guide to Marketing

Salesman

I used to be a salesperson; I’ve been involved with webinars, and training sessions to no end. I’ve watched videos and read books from some of the greatest sales minds in the world. But I feel like there is a very real issue that never gets addressed in sales training. Marketing.

I know what you’re thinking; I’ve got a marketing department that does that for me. Or I’ve established a good process that has plenty of prospects coming through the door. I don’t need any more harebrained marketing systems.

I’m not here to present a marketing system to get prospects in the door. For now you’re on your own in that area. Keep reading for ideas to help you, but you’ll never find a one-size fits all system here.

What I’m talking about today is what you do with prospects that don’t close the deal after they’ve gone through the normal sales process. Now many of those prospects may not have been a good fit for you, or they may have been window-shopping that’s fine, not everyone is the right fit for your product or service. But you can’t tell me that 100% of your qualified prospects buy from you. If you can please stop reading, I have nothing to offer, but feel free to check back next week to see if that changes.

This all stems from a recent experience I had buying a car recently. I went to a used car lot to test drive a vehicle I had seen online. (I know what you’re thinking and no, not all bloggers drive a brand new Lamborghini.) The marketing process for this dealership had worked. They had posted their price online, they had presented a clear view of the vehicle with lots of pictures, my interest had been peaked and I came in.

car dealership

The sales woman I dealt with was nice, she did a good job of collecting the necessary contact information, though the need to connect on every level felt a bit forced, that’s just the nature of sales.

In the end we were too far apart on prices. There was a super special anti chip coating of magic that they put on the car that had not been priced into the vehicle online that lifted the price well out of our comfortable range. When I left the dealership we agreed that this was not the right car for us, I left her with my specifications for a vehicle. I told her I needed three rows of seats, I preferred to be under 125k miles on the vehicle, and she knew what I could afford to spend.

At this point the marketer in me says, great you’ve got all this specific client information, applying the information should be easy. Unfortunately that was when the relationship fell apart. Over the next 4 days I received 6 e-mails, 4 text messages and 2 phone calls from this woman who wanted to follow up with us about our decision. Now I understand car sales is a quick turn around and she wanted to stay in front of us, but she made two grave errors.

The first error was simple. There was too much contact. If say I haven’t made my decision yet, ask for more information and confirm that it is ok to continue to be in contact. (NOTE: Don’t say when can I contact you again, this will lead to the response I’ll get back to you when I’m ready)

Phone sales

Now the first error was pretty bad, but I could have overlooked it had she not committed error number two. The second error was much worse. Every time she contacted me, she talked about the same vehicle, the one we had agreed was not in my price range. Instead of trying to meet my needs, she had tunnel vision, and felt the need to sell that vehicle.

Without further ado here are 3 practical steps you can take to ensure you’re switching from sales to marketing, unlike my friend at the car dealership.

Be conscious of how you are contacting your prospect, and why.

A phone call can be a great personal touch that is often overlooked in today’s internet age. However, don’t call to push a product, call to offer a solution. Had my car sales friend called me and said, “Hey I know you’re looking for a vehicle with a 3rd row, I’ve found a couple more options I think you would like to take a look at.” I would have come back in to see her again. Instead I got, “ Hi Mr. Jordan I’m calling to follow up about the car you test drove the other day. I wanted to let you know it is still available, and wanted to know when you’d like to come back in to discuss this further”

Understand the Laws of Diminished Returns.

Every time you contact a prospect will be less effective than the time prior, so use your contacts wisely. Pick one form of communication, and reach out to me once a day… max. Again only reach out when you have a way to solve my problem. Quantity is never the answer to getting a prospect back in the door. I have never once thought, “IF THIS GUY CALLS ME ONE MORE TIME, I SWEAR I’M GOING TO GO IN THERE AND BUY HIS PRODUCT!” (sorry for the shouty caps, i get passionate when i’m buying products)

Remember Marketing is not Sales.

Your goal is to get them back in the door. Sales is best done face to face. If they left your office/ store there’s a good chance they were feeling pressured. Back of the sales pressure and put on your marketing hat. Think about what they want to hear from you, that will open them up to starting the sales conversation again.

Unfortunately for all salespeople out there, no one wants to be sold anything. They do however; love to have their problems solved. Market your solutions and you’ll start to see those lost prospects come back through your doors.

Categories: Sales