Well, well, well…
…it’s time to sell, sell, sell.
There will be no quiz today, you’ll be pleased to hear, but let’s just make the statement one more time…
‘Sales and marketing are two completely different things!’
Now, last week we talked about how building up your brand is an absolute necessity for any marketing strategy, and that’s the same whether we’re talking locally, regionally, nationally or even internationally.
You have to be recognisable before you become profitable.
It makes sense, right?
Business Network International (BNI), of which 2080e is a member and a huge advocate, uses an acronym that we think perfectly sums up both the difference between sales and marketing, as well as the relationship between the two.
BNI uses VCP, or ‘Visibility’, ‘Credibility’ and ‘Profitability’…
We covered the first two last week, talking about how creating a brand is all about becoming visible, and then establishing that brand as the ‘go to’ choice, is all about doing what you say you can do, i.e. building your credibility.
Ultimately though, love it or loathe it, the measure of success in our capitalist culture is governed by the bottom line, how profitable our businesses are, how much money we make – and that’s all to do with, you guessed it, sales.
The art of ‘the sale’ is something that millions have tried to find an answer for.
Books have been written on the subject, television series have been made about salesmen and women, the psychology of it all has been explored, and even exploited come to think of it.
But what about you? What about your business?
That’s what matters here.
Do you know the best way to make your business profitable? To close the deal? To make the sale!?
What works for one, won’t necessarily work for the other, and whilst there are always a few consistencies, to truly master the art of ‘the sale’ for your business, you need to think about things in a bespoke way.
Let’s start with the customer avatar…
If you’re selling to the over 65s, an online portal that requires a PayPal account and six different passwords isn’t going to be effective.
Just as any company selling to ‘millennials’ really doesn’t have any need to allow for payment by cheque.
These might seem like obvious examples, but sometimes, the obvious things are the hardest to spot.
Often, the answers to your sales fails are right under your nose.
Think about three things…
Convenience. Clarity. Consistency.
If it’s convenient for you customers to buy from you, they are so much more likely to part with their pennies and pounds.
An online payment link, as a method, is easier for many than having to set up an account, register an email, save a password etc.
All of that valuable data collection ought to have been done in the marketing stage, remember?
In terms of clarity, everyone likes to know the full cost as early as possible. Make sure you break it all down for them, but don’t be afraid of figures that people may balk at.
Ticketing companies often whack on things like a £10 ‘service’ charge for tickets, but people still buy the tickets. This charge is listed clearly in all correspondence, advertising and marketing, meaning that whether or not the customer agrees with it, they know it’s there and they are more likely to pay with an understanding of the breakdown. They might not like it, but it isn’t hidden, and the marketing has done its job.
Avoid hidden charges. List prices with and without VAT.
If you’re worried about how much you’re charging, if it’s too much or not enough, that’s a whole different subject altogether, and one that 2080e can help you with away from this – knowing your worth.
As far as sales go though, be clear.
The last thing to remember is consistency. If things are consistent, on top of being convenient and clear, you’re far more likely to make more sales down the line.
Estimates and research varies, but many people reckon that as much as 75% of a business’s income comes from existing customers as opposed to new ones.
After the brand is built, and the trust is earned, the money may well come rolling in, as long as the sales methods are consistent.
Regular invoices at scheduled times. Reminder emails that are worded professionally.
Consistency is key, and it sort of has to be really, doesn’t it?
A successful business won’t just make a couple of sales, stop for a bit and then hope for more.
A successful business can make sales forecasts, predictions and subsequent plans for growth.
Without consistency, that is impossible.
If you’re reading this or listening to this and coming to the realisation that you’ve got your marketing and your sales all jumbled up together, don’t panic. It’s a mistake that so many people make, which is exactly why we’ve devoted two weeks to the subject.
You do need to do something about it though.
As with most things in business, you need to reflect on what you currently have in place, honestly and critically.
If it’s not convenient, it isn’t good enough.
If it isn’t at all clear, it isn’t good enough.
And if there’s no consistency, it isn’t good enough.
With the guidance and expertise of 2080e, you can not only make your sales technique ‘good enough’, you can develop a bespoke approach that works right now, and long into the future.