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.