Something I didn’t understand for some time was that marketing strategies work hand in hand with sales. Unfortunately, for many companies and organizations, the sales and marketing departments don’t communicate with each other. This creates tension, unrealistic expectations and missed opportunities. Many creative artists, like myself, have stepped away from selling because we don’t feel successful at sales and don’t want to approach anything that looks like a hard-sell. For innovators, marketing tends to be creative and fun and is more easily pursued.
But sales is actually simple at its core. It all starts with helping a prospect to obtain what they want and need. The process should be very relationship-centered, which takes away the stigma of selling. When we focus on their pain, whether it’s fear or a dream, then move to identify the problem and help them verbalize out loud what they want, it encourages prospects to take action to get what they want and need. Here we cover some easy and logical steps to connect your sales and marketing strategies for the coming year, whether an individual or a company.
One: Define a Need in the Market
When an entrepreneur starts a company, typically they have figured out they have a product or service the market needs. Either there is fear or pain that needs to be relieved or there is a dream to be fulfilled. Fear can be anything from one discovering cancer to resolving plumbing issues to relieving financial difficulty. Needs can also be much simpler, like needing wrapping paper for a gift.
On the other side, there are dreams. A 50-something person walks into the Harley Davis dealership. He can just imagine himself riding on a Harley with his leather jacket and the wind blowing through his hair. (If he still has hair!) To him, this spells freedom. That is a dream, or even a fantasy. That dream can apply to most anything such as obtaining a new car with more gadgets or a fancy smoker to add to barbecue accessories. With dreams, the marketing should center on the emotion you are trying to fulfill.
With fear or pain, you focus on the need and providing a solution to get unstuck. When a person identifies with the fear, pain or need with a viable solution in the marketing, they then move to become a sales prospect. We have to know what it is that people are chasing. The marketing has to identify what it is and provide a solution.
Two: Get the Prospect to Identify the Solution
I think I can safely say that no one really enjoys a salesperson that hounds one with all the features of a product when walking into a store or showroom. Visions of a used car salesman come to mind, working desperately for a sale, hounding any passerby with all the features of the car, whether or not needed.
Identifying the right questions to ask to get a prospect or client to verbalize out loud their dream, fear or even solution is one of the very best sales tactics. When this happens, it signifies a certain amount of trust that has been established. Especially important is for any medical professional to establish trust. This happens with verbal communication, white papers or other types of writing that establishes expertise.
For a dreamer, if a person is ready to buy a Harley, they have probably seen commercials or posts from ecstatic Harley riders that create a sense of freedom and fantasy the prospect desires. They probably already know what it will cost and now, it’s choosing the particular model and working out the financing. Selling strategies can include creative financing on how to make the dream a reality. Now it’s time to ask the question, Can you think of any reason we shouldn’t sign you up for this product?
Three: Evaluate What's Working Now
The right kind of data can be very helpful in evaluation and planning, especially in marketing. For instance, for a coach with a number of offerings and products, don’t focus on the forty courses or programs. I realize it’s hard to resist naming them all off! Instead pinpoint the three specific courses that solve a particular issue. (free Goal Setting Worksheets here)
This type of evaluation is extremely important for those with multiple products. Marketing will be different for each. For example, personally I have found marketing on Amazon for books (Deborah’s books) to be the most successful. However, I have evaluated the sales descriptions and keywords for each book multiple times and tweaked them for better results. This evaluation takes time and attention to detail.
For marketing webinars, especially free webinars, I have found livestreams work effectively and there are partner websites that will promote my free events free of charge. It takes time and attention to add signups on those platforms to have full access to my products on my website, but it is worth it. There aren’t really a lot of shortcuts to this process, at least at first.
Four: Create a System
My biggest word of advice here is to keep great notes. I have modified my system through the years to be easier to access and implement, not only for myself but for a virtual assistant. I share some of my system in the course A New Way of Doing Business. With Google Drive, Dropbox and Amazon S-3, file sharing to an assistant halfway around the world becomes a viable possibility. I am also able to modify my system with several clicks.
I have recently updated my calendar for posting memes and videos to be more evergreen, lasting from year to year, noting week numbers instead of actual dates. The results will be more apparent next year when the weeks noted come around again. I can still update it at any time for my assistant as it’s on Google Drive, but it has the main marketing monthly objectives with associated text and memes. I explain this more thoroughly in the online course. The important principle is to create a system that will work for you and is not a huge time-sucker after the initial setup. Your system should help to propel you forward, not tie you down.
Five: Use Creativity
There are so many ways to use creativity in marketing. I found I could easily create and use video in marketing with admirable results. There are applications for doing this with minimal tech knowledge, such as Pictory, to create very effective video shorts. I have even added some of the short visual videos I’ve created in Pictory into my longer videos, where I use the program Final Cut Pro.
If approaching tech is too scary, hiring someone on Fiverr or another platform shouldn’t hold you back from moving ahead. Believe me when I say there are many who are looking to do the type of work you need done.
I used to think the purpose of creating products, such as CDs, (Deborah’s music) were for selling products after shows. To a certain extent, that goal was very successful. But those products became much more. They were marketing tools. I ended up being hired for engagements that at times paid more than the cost of producing an album because the presenter liked the music or my voice. As an author, the outcome is similar. I realize part of my purpose is to sell books, but another real purpose is to establish expertise as a thought leader and speaker. Keeping that in mind helps justify expense and time. The right type of marketing creates future work and leads to sales. Marketing strategies work hand in hand with sales.
The right kind of data can be very helpful in evaluation and planning, especially in marketing.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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