Selling: The New Marketing?

March 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching, Sales Training

In days past, selling and marketing were two very different business animals. Marketing was all about communications and the messages about your business. Namely, what you needed to say to your target audience to get them to check you (and your business) out. Selling was all about, well, making sales.

The lines have blurred considerably between selling and marketing today. Knowing how these two business roles have morphed, and even merged, is the key to keeping your business top-of-mind with prospects and current clients and making more sales.

This doesn’t mean the old ways aren’t still used. It’s just that the old ways of doing selling and marketing don’t work nearly as well in the new economy, especially with digital mediums such as social media in the mix.

Prospecting means listening

It used to be that you could pick up the phone or send an email to connect with clients or prospects. These days, that’s not so easy. But it doesn’t mean that, as a salesperson, you don’t have a tool at your disposal to put you into the communications loop.

Today’s salespeople need to have a social media presence, if only to monitor what their clients and prospects are doing there. Using tools available to keep pace with clients is as easy as using Hootsuite and Trackur to monitor client activity. Branchout in Facebook allows you to connect with just about anyone and tap into the people your friends have connected with, too.

Educate don’t sell

Today, expertise is the name of the selling game. It’s not enough to have a snazzy elevator speech and perfect pitch for a presentation. Salespeople must know, understand and communicate their company’s products and service information in a way that educates their prospects and clients. The hard sell is a thing of the past. While the old sales methods of using manipulation or psychology still exist, the salespeople that use them are struggling.

Insights are for sharing

As part of the education process, salespeople must be able to sift through their and competitor’s information to provide answers to questions prospects have. This means they must be able to anticipate where confusion might exist, explain strengths, weaknesses and points of differentiation in a way that is insightful and (as above) educational. The salesperson who can help clients sift through the enormous amount of data available to them, assisting them in understanding what they’re seeing and helping them make a wise decision, is a salesperson who will do very well in this new sales economy.

Nurture clients through storytelling

Everyone loves a good story. This means that salespeople must be able to weave tales that inspire and illustrate how a client’s needs could be met through example. By taking the client’s issues, coupling them with relevant solutions – and then demonstrating how someone else succeeded in the same way – provides comfort and conveys the salesperson understands the problem intimately. Even if they don’t.

Close softly and develop a good relationship first

As noted above, hard closes are a thing of the past. Today’s salespeople must be able to establish relationships not only with prospects and current clients, but also with others who might be in a position to meet the needs of their clients. Being able to help clients – even outside of the salesperson’s expertise or industry can go a long way in solidifying a long-term relationship.

By using these tactics of marketing, salespeople can enhance their skill set, generate their own leads, enhance the rapport they have with prospects and clients, provide a wider-range of solutions and, most importantly, close more business. And that’s what it’s really about isn’t it?

 

© 2012 Sarah Wood

 About the Author: Sarah Jo Wood is founder of Evolving Advisors Inc. and author of ‘How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes!”  Her coaching program teaches entrepreneurs like you to overcome objections so you can sign up all the clients you want, fill your practice, and increase your bottom line.  To begin supercharging your sales, download your complimentary sales package today at www.evolvingadvisors.com.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!