Do you get phone calls and approaches from people trying to sell you something? If you’re like me, you certainly do. Think about it: When was the last time you actually bought from one of them? Hardly ever, probably. You can be smarter than that to be more effective and get more sales in your own business.
Let’s start with a definition: successful sales and marketing is when a potential customer knows, likes and trusts you well enough, so that when they have a problem you can solve, they use your product, your service rather than your competitor’s.
And there’s the issue, right there, because at this moment, the vast majority of your potential customers:
– Don’t know you… They don’t know what you do…
– OR IF they do, they’re asking themselves, WHY would they go to the trouble to change from their current provider?
Overcoming Indifference To Get More sales
To get around this problem, you need to do three things:
- The first is that you have to work out what differentiates you from your competitors.
Why is differentiation so important? Well, without it, your potential customer can only buy on price. And let’s face it, if that’s the fight you want to have, eventually you’re going to lose to someone, somewhere in the world who can make or do the same thing that little bit cheaper than you!
Of course in the meantime your margin is getting chomped, so you’re doing more and more and making less and less. That’s not the kind of business you want to have, is it?
- The second thing you need to do is to define who you want to sell to.
For many of us, that’s a surprising thought in itself. Don’t we want to sell to everyone? Well, no. Something that appeals to everyone appeals to no-one.
Define your target market and you have a focus – but not too much. Too defined a target market and you won’t have enough customers!
- The third thing, having identified what’s different about your offering and who you want to sell to, is to take your message to your target market – communicate what you want to be known for and how that helps each and every potential customer.
What really works to achieve more sales, then, is for a business to demonstrate, free of charge, over a period of time, their expertise. Instead, what we see all the time is exactly the opposite. You and I are both plagued by marketing people and call centres calling us with offers that do nothing for us. And you and I don’t buy this way!
Differentiation In Practice
Let’s take a real-life example and show how this works in practice. Imagine you’re an insurance broker (it’s OK, it’s just for a minute!). Think of all the competition you face. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of insurance brokers all competing for business. Why should I choose you?
That first step, you’ll recall, is DIFFERENTIATION.
For an insurance broker, it could be:
– a 24/7 mobile phone number so that I can contact you if something goes badly wrong and you’ll come to me within 30 minutes.
– and/or a personal account manager to bring that real human touch to our interaction.
– maybe a guarantee that my query will be satisfactorily answered within a set period of time or I get back part of my premium.
You could probably think of other ways to differentiate your offering, to set you apart from the rest of the pack.
The second step is to define to whom you want to sell insurance.
Why am I a better customer than him over there or her over there? What is it about you and me that makes us a good fit?
Until you can answer that question, you’re condemned to spend your time talking to every Tom, Dick and Harriet you can get to answer your calls. Good luck with that!
The third step is to take your (differentiated) message to your (defined) market.
As you know, we all have issues with insurance – what cover do I need? Am I being ripped off? How can I tell I’m getting a good deal? So there’s a trust issue. You (the insurance broker) have a trust issue.
So how about you send me a series of information pieces addressing those very concerns? Send me Five Ways to Find an Insurance Broker and Business Insurance Explained Without The Jargon and then I will start to get know, like and trust your business.
Eventually, if I like and trust you enough and have a need for what you offer (because my current broker isn’t doing a good enough job), then I’m likely to want to pick up the phone… and call you!
So what you’ve been doing is demonstrating to me, free of charge and over a period of time, my expertise. And in response, I’ve actually come looking for you to help me. As you can imagine, that phone call is going to go rather differently from the ones I’m used to experiencing.
Of course, that phone call still needs to be converted into a sale – and that will be the subject of an article in a later issue of The NCP Newsletter
In the meantime if you want to get more sales, you can discuss the application of this post to your own business with the author of this post, a specialist in improving marketing and sales processes. Contact MARTIN LAIZANS HERE or directly.