Friday, September 20, 2013

Marketing Is Just the First Step

The secret to increasing sales is simply to increase the marketing of your products and services. Or is it? There's one other critical part of the puzzle that needs to be addressed in order to grow a business. Without this, all the marketing in the world won't help.

Marketing done correctly with channels like direct mail (using postcards as an example) can equal more leads and prospects.

However, all the leads in the world won't necessarily equate to hefty sales and profit increases without the ability to sell. Therefore, the ability to sell yourself, your services, and your products becomes the second important piece of the puzzle.

Some have attached a stigma to selling with the image of a pushy used car salesman, but there's no need for slime or hype if you have a great product and service to sell.

There's a five-step business life-cycle and ecosystem you need to adhere to in order to have a truly successful, growing company.

Step 1. Marketing to bring in leads and prospects.

Step 2. Selling by making the case why your solution is the best option for the prospect.

Step 3. Systems and processes to consistently deliver an excellent product and service.

Step 4. Delivering great results to encourage referrals.

Step 5. Delivering great customer experience with your business to build client retention and repeat business.

Failure at any step will result in stagnation or decline in your business.

Marketing must be done in order to bring in a consistent flow of qualified leads and prospects. However, step two (making the sale) can't be overlooked. Being enthusiastic and showing passion for what you do and what you provide can go a long way in covering up any shortcomings.

A sale is made when a prospect gets to know you, likes you, and trusts you. There are four factors that can help you go beyond enthusiasm and passion in making your case toward a successful selling situation.

Factor 1: You need to establish rapport. Establishing rapport requires genuinely caring about your prospect. The more you learn about the prospect, the greater the likelihood you'll be able to find a common area to create a bond.

Factor 2: Find out what your prospect really wants from what you provide. This requires knowing what questions to ask in order to learn their reason for wanting your service. Top salespeople know that sometimes what a prospect wants isn't what they really need. Don't just tell them, but show them how your solution delivers what they really want and need.

Factor 3: Prove to them the value you provide. To do this, you must know what differentiates you and your company from the competition. Every prospect wants the least expensive solution, when all things are equal. Differentiation by showing massive value tilts the playing field in your favor because all things will not be equal when you're the one showing the most value. Prospects find a way to pay when they see the value clearly.

Factor 4: Ask for the sale. Most salespeople and even business owners either forget to ask for the sale or are simply too frightened to do so. If you deliver results and believe in what you provide, it's your obligation to ask for the sale. Don't assume the prospect will buy if you don't ask for the sale.

Marketing and sales go hand in hand. One without the other makes growing a business difficult if not impossible. These two are like the oxygen and air that your business needs to thrive. Remember this business ecosystem and work on continually improving on the four selling factors in order to always have a growing, healthy business.

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