Marketing for your customers should be easy, you have a product or service that is tailored to the right audience so just writing about it should get the message out? Unfortunately you probably have a lot of competitors also with a great product or service and selling yourself is no longer about the hard sell.
The Hard Sell
When I first started doing sales there was a technique to selling, it was a hard sell and if followed correctly and with tenacity it worked, but I hated doing it, and I hate hearing it today, now the heard sell makes me think the sales person only uses this technique because they have an inferior product or service.
The hard sell has a few points that everyone follows;
- Introduction - the hard seller will introduce themselves by name dropping who they work with, in a recent pitch someone hadn’t updated their pitch and was quoting a company that was now dissolved.
- Question time - they will ask you all about your business, ask you where you get business, basically get you to sell yourself and your product, many businesses will get excited about their service and some people think that the sales person is actually buying from you, this has happened a few times with us where we think some one is enquiring using this method then they use the information you give to objection handle later.
- The Sell- so after quite a long time of talking the sales person will then introduce their product, they will have spun it using the information you gave to mean that it is obvious that you would want this service or product. No mention of price.Confirmation- Usually one sentence sign here it costs this… you may go for it, you may not
- The Takeaway -If you say no, or you want to think about it, the sales pitch turns to reverse psychology, this is where they may say, ‘oh well, if you are too small, or can’t handle all the extra business this will bring then perhaps its not for you’ they may mention exclusivity or say you as a company needs to be checked that you are good enough for the service or product, at this point your pride kicks in and you start defending your company and sigh upThis is a basic breakdown but I am sure if you are reading this you have heard this before. This is has been used so many times and for so many years that it is starting to become less effective. I have been interested in a service but then once I recognise the hard sell I am no longer interested.
OK, sorry, if you are playing buzzword bingo you can now tick off ‘inbound marketing’ and why not tick off ‘earned media‘ as well. We throw around these marketing buzz words but in reality they are actually just a way of describing a good method of marketing that is great for the social media age.
Inbound Marketing is a marketing technique (or number of techniques) that bring the customer to you. The benefits of this is that customers come to you already interested, there is no hard sell, just a soft sell. However just using inbound marketing takes the control away, if you rely on sales (as pretty much everyone does) then sitting waiting for the sales to come in is difficult.
Inbound marketing is not just sitting on your bum waiting for leads though, you have to get people’s attention!
This is where social media comes into it’s own, you can gain a good reputation through blogging, and writing case studies, you can get attention through content like video, or even witty content. All of these methods will help attract people to your brand.
Getting Marketing right for your brand and customers
This is where many businesses get their marketing wrong, they market to themselves, so they will use industry jargon and write about what interests them. This is great if you are doing peer to peer selling but most people are selling to a slightly different demographic.
Even a Mum creating a product for other mums forgets that she has all the answers they have the questions so to give them the information she needs to be in front of them.
So how do you do it?
- Find out what they are talking about - This is easy, look through forums, carry our surveys, go and ask them in person. Find out what they are interested in and discuss it. Take the Fiat 500 advert of the Mum rapping; the lyrics could have easily been taken from the topics on the Mums forums, this use of connecting with the audience in a creative way was genius and effective.
- Get creative – Easier said than done, right, but getting imaginative and creative can be simple and effective. You can make dull content seem interesting with an interesting spin on things.
- Answer their questions – this is content marketing 101 but it works, find out what they want to know and give them the solution, find out any common problems and discuss, find out any objections with your company and put their mind at rest, this builds trust and can get you some great long tail traffic.
- Spend time on it – Content marketing, inbound marketing, earned media, whatever… it is valuable and should not be rushed. Spend time and invest on good content, content that will go on and on for years.
- React – don’t just rest on your laurels, you’ve done the research you are getting new business, but people change keep looking out for opportunities, react to news and events, react to new platforms, make mistakes, apologise and keep going.