It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Mike Montague– Enjoy!
Most businesses these days seem to take a sales or marketing approach to business development instead of a sales AND marketing approach. These common mistakes in sales can cost you marketing dollars and a lot of revenue from potential sales. If you are looking for a better return on your marketing budget, you might try looking at your sales department.
You don’t tightly target your prospects.
When business is slow, the temptation to tell your story to whomever will listen is great. Instead, be choosy about the people to whom you “tell your story.” Use your existing customer base to identify the characteristics of your best customers. With that information, have the sales and marketing departments sit down together and develop a profile of your “ideal” customer. Then, search out prospects that most closely fit the profile. You may meet with fewer people, but you’ll close more sales.
You’re not sufficiently selective about the prospects with whom you meet.
Expressing an “interest” in your product or service is not a strong enough reason to schedule an appointment with a potential prospect. If prospects’ “interests” aren’t backed by recognized needs or desires for your product or service – now or in the immediate future – then there’s no compelling reasons to meet with them. Find out why prospects are interested and what trigger event sparked their interest before you schedule sales appointments. Use the marketing department to score the leads and nurture them until they are “sales ready”.
You neither establish credibility nor demonstrate expertise.
In sales, your job is to help the prospect view their situation from different perspectives and discover elements or aspects of their challenges they didn’t previously recognize. And most importantly, you can’t just tell them! Prospects can get information from your marketing, but you must be able to ask questions in such a manner as to help prospects make those “discoveries” through a conversation. Here’s an example:
When you asked your production manager to measure the injection pressure differential between the beginning and end of the production cycle and to what extent it contributed to the casting inconsistencies, what did he report?
Educating your prospects through intelligent questions demonstrates your understanding of their problems and allows the prospect to discover your expertise. It is perhaps the single most important skill to master in modern selling.
You don’t ask “tough” questions.
To be valuable as a salesperson, you must be able to identify elements at the center of controversies, uncover root causes of problems, discover carefully guarded information, and obtain rarely volunteered commitments. You won’t be able to accomplish any of those tasks without asking tough questions. Again, marketing materials can explain features and benefits, but only great salespeople can ask and answer tough questions.
You rush to make presentations.
Many salespeople are too eager to make presentations. They view them as opportunities to establish the value of their products or services by demonstrating their unique aspects. However, the real purpose of presentations is to confirm your ability to deliver the solutions prospects are predisposed to buy.
Until you know what and why you are presenting, you should refrain from making presentations. Don’t cool off your lead from the marketing department by presenting information they don’t care about, instead heat it up by discussing the prospect’s situation and understanding why they are considering your help.
Make the most of your marketing and sales opportunities!
If both departments work together, the harmony can take your organization to the next level. Marketing can become sales enablement specialists who create and nurture leads, and then escort them over to sales at the perfect time. The sales team can relax and become closing conversation masters that bring the expertise of a trusted advisor to remove road blocks for prospects. Both departments can work together to create an environment that allows the customer to buy and enjoy doing so!
These five mistakes are just some of the ways selling mistakes hurt your marketing. If you can think of others, please share them in the comments below.
This is a guest blog by Mike Montague, Associate and Certified Trainer at Sandler Training Kansas City. Sandler Training empowers their clients to achieve higher levels of success through innovative training courses in sales, management, and customer service for companies and individuals around the Kansas City area. They offer public and private courses for individuals and organizations who value lifelong learning and continuous improvement.