Sales and Marketing Mistakes

When it comes to sales and marketing, you can do it right or you can do it wrong.

I saw an incredible demonstration yesterday on how to do it right.

Let me explain. Yesterday my wife and I went to Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota. The show was “George Gershwin Alone.” It was a one man show about the music and lyrics by the brothers George and Ira Gershwin.

It was based on the book written by Hershey Felder who also happened to be the star of the show. What a terrific performance.

Usually at the end of a show there are curtain calls, depending on how good the show is.

When the show ended Hershey came out to a standing ovation. But this was different. After a short minute or two he waved at the audience to take our seats and we did.

He asked the audience to call out George Gershwin song titles for him to play and sing. Then he proceeded to sing some songs and had fun with the audience.

So when he finishes this routine he says the Theatre asked him for his help.

He said in one week he would be doing another limited engagement show, “Maestro – The Art Of Leonard Bernstein.” He told us he wanted us to go to the Box Office right after the show and buy tickets because we would save 20% because we were at today’s show.

Well of course I was the second one in line to buy these tickets.

He said the Theatre asked for even more help. He agreed. He told us he brought just 200 copies of his soon to be released NEW CD and he would donate all the proceeds to the Theatre. He said he would also be happy to autograph the CDs.

After I bought the tickets to his next show I also bought his new CD for $50.

Look, Hershey gave an amazing performance and then proceeded to demonstrate the art of salesmanship.

He gave us a call to action. He told us where to go to buy the tickets today.

He gave us an incentive for buying today – save 20%.

He created a sense of urgency with his CDs by saying the supply was limited and he only had 200 copies.

He added more value by offering to autograph the CDs.

I go to a show to be entertained and I was. I also had the opportunity to see a brilliant display of salesmanship.

Let me put this into a business perspective for you.

Some of the biggest sales and marketing mistakes I see people and companies making include the following:

Selling on price. Why sell on price when you can sell on value? I believe the word discount should be eliminated from all marketing and advertising materials.

The word discount should be replaced with the words value and incentives. And whenever possible your value should be quantified in dollars. If you can’t quantify your value don’t expect your sales prospects and customers to be able to see it.

Selling features instead of selling benefits. This is a huge mistake marketers make. Salespeople also do the same thing and are always talking about features instead of focusing on the product’s benefits.

Let’s take a windshield wiper blade for example. These blades are made of rubber plain and simple. Yes they cling to the windshield and remove rain, sleet, and snow from your windshield.

But what’s the benefit for your customer? Well, the benefit for a senior citizen who has to drive down a mountain to buy groceries and go to church during a winter storm is peace of mind and safety because the windshield wiper blades enable your customer to see clearly and drive safely.

No sense of urgency. Tell your sales prospects and customers that your supply of wiper blades is limited, just like Hershey did. In fact tell them how many you have in stock and they need to hurry in because they’ll be all gone in a few days.

No call to action. This one is a no-brainer. Do what you can to make it easier for your customers to buy. Bernadette, my wife, goes ballistic when she sees an article or an advertisement for a product she’s interested in and there’s no contact information.

Be sure to include a person’s name, an address, a phone number, store hours, and a website if your product can be ordered on line.

Tell people to visit your store today to get a special bonus product with every purchase.

Make it easy for your customers to do business with you and they’ll keep coming back.

And always say, “Thank you for your business,” enthusiastically!

And I must say thank you to Hershey for his 2 brilliant and memorable performances.

Exploring The Best Sales And Marketing Jobs

C-Level Relationship Selling – Increase Sales and Market Share Using C-Level Relationship Selling

C-Level relationship selling is simple and more effective than any other strategy, tactic or selling technique once you learn the process. However, if you don’t know how to do it, it can be like cold calling in the sense that it’s intimidating, fraught with rejection and nobody wants to do it. But unlike cold calling C-level relationship selling will increase your sales and market share faster and easier than anything else.

C-level relationship selling will enable you to sell just about 100% of all the products and services in your portfolio that fit to 100% of your existing customers. Now would that help you meet your sales goals? Well as tough a task as the above sounds, it is far easier to accomplish than it is to sell that same amount to new customers. What if you could sell just all your existing accounts 10% more? Would that help your sales picture? Of course it would and it’s really easy if you develop professional C-level relationships.

Yes, I’m saying that to increase your sales and market share, give-up on trying to penetrate the walled cities of new accounts, and focus on getting more and more cross-sells from your existing bastions of strength. Then as your existing accounts buy more of all your products and service (with your help), those walled citied accounts will crumble and come rushing to you for your expertise.

Here’s why. First, do you believe that you can help your existing customers do their business better – more sales and/or more profits – if they bought more of the total portfolio of services you sell in addition to what they now buy? Of course you do. Well if they do buy more from you and do get better, that will put a lot of pressure on their competition. The word will get out that it was you and your company expertise that did it. And that’s when you’ll start getting requests from accounts that were previously not interested in some or any of your products and/or services.

However, in order to get your stuff more fully absorbed, you’re going to have to solve the issues and concerns as it relates to sales and/or profits of the C-levels or profit-center leaders of you existing accounts. In order to do that you will have to learn what those issues and concerns are for all the senior people involved. You can’t assume to know what their problems are and you can’t take the word of you main, lower-level contacts. Even if you know from experience or your main contact is correct (which is usually wrong), the top people don’t know you know their issues and concerns.

Think about it. A C-level would say or think, “What does this sales person know about me and my situation?” Now once you’ve talked and related on a professional level, s/he will feel you understand and will now be willing to listen to how you may be able to help. And this is how you cross sell and start to get more and more of your portfolio into that account. C-levels and profit center leaders have the power to make you sales happen.

So here is how to begin C-level relationship selling. First, start spending more time at existing accounts, but not just with your main contacts. Use your relationships at the lower levels to network you up and out. That is, meet their boss and their boss’s associates and continue to move up and out. My motto if you haven’t heard it from me before is spread like a virus through you existing accounts.

Now, my meaning of “meet” with these people is very specific however. A meeting is a one-on-one interview where you ask customer focused questions to learn what that individual’s issues and concerns are as they relate to your bigger world of solutions and listen aggressively. It’s not your time to give a product and services presentation. Once you know where this person’s head is at and the person realizes you understand, then you can offer to help. As the person sees the fit, they buy into you and this is how the relationship starts.

Keep repeating the process until you are networked to meet with the C-levels, the profit-center leaders, and their immediate staffs. It doesn’t matter if the meeting is in their office or at a lunch. What matters is you get know each person’s mind set for the moment and s/he knows you know. Without that it’s impossible to develop a relationship.

Using subordinate relationship that you’ve developed over time is vehicle to get you to the top C-level and other influential people. This will take a lot of your selling time, but it will be worth it. My rule is 50% of your selling time should be with existing clients/accounts. 30% should be with old or lost accounts and 20% with new accounts or self-ops. See some of my previous articles of why this works best.

Minimizing your prospecting to new accounts and competitors’ accounts sounds risky, doesn’t it? The bigger risk, however, is for an existing customer to start doing more business with your competitors, and we all know that’s exactly what your competitors are trying desperately to make that happen.

If the above reason doesn’t motivate you, consider this. C-level relationship selling is prospecting, and it’s in new territory. The beauty of C-level relationship selling, although intimidating, is that these prospects represent bigger, faster and easier sales.

Now I invite you to learn more about mastering C-level relationship selling.