My focus for the last several years has been insurance sales. Before insurance, it was product sales. Either way I discovered a simple thing - before a sale can take place a whole bunch of marketing has to happen.
Most sales people don't like marketing and it shows up in their sales results. The two are linked but significantly different. Let's distinguish them before we go any further.
Marketing is building a path so that:
- People who want to buy find you
- Get to know you
- Come to trust you
- Are ready to buy from you
Sales is the actual process of:
- Making the presentation
- Closing the sale
- Taking the order
- Delivering the goods
Obviously the secret to great sales results begin with effective marketing. But what do you market? Most sales people confuse what they market with what they sell.
If you have a steady stream of people eager to buy what you're selling lining up at your door to buy from you then you understand effective marketing. If you're not selling them - you need. I've met very few sales professions who are in this position. Most sales professionals have marketing problems not sales problems.
No matter what you sell. No matter what you deliver. What you must market if you're to be effective at all is HOPE!
Marketing hope is the key...
Your potential buyer is looking for hope. What they need is hope. What they buy is hope. What you market must be hope!
They hope that if something happens they'll have the money to carry them through the experience. They hope that if they die their children will be cared for. They hope that when they retire they will have enough assets to live as they choose. They hope they can win a battle with a critical illness and not lose their house in the process.
Evaluate your efforts...
Look at how you're selling. Are you pushing a product without providing some hope that your potential buyer will realize because of the purchase?
Look at what you're selling. Have you identified how your product fulfills the promise of hope for your potential buyer? Does it promise hope?
Look at who you're selling. Do you know or can you identify with their need for a hope fulfilled by your product?
Look at you when you're selling. Do you make promises that your deliverable can't keep? Have you considered that a broken promise destroys hope? Are you doing all that you can to make sure you don't destroy hope in your potential client by putting down the competition?
You know that questioning is important in a sales presentation. As you perfect your questioning skills you improve your closing ratio. When was the last time you asked the same level of serious, probing questions to yourself?
Schedule a review at least once a quarter to see if you need to tweak something or if a complete overhaul is in order.
Evaluating what you're offering from your potential buyer's perspective is essential to marketing hope success.
- What do they require for a bright future?
- What hopes and dreams do they have that can be fulfilled by what you're offering?
- Are you a person of hope or a person of "doom and gloom"?
- If your competition is offering the same thing as you, are you offering hope by criticizing them?
- Have I made a list of at least 10 ways that my product and my business can offer my clients hope?
- Have I seriously considered the place that hope has in the human condition?
- Am I serious about marketing hope or is this just a gimmick to get sales?
Marketing Hope may be the only hope you have building a business...