Power in Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing is all about power.

Power in sales and marketing – and in everything else – is about doing less to achieve more. The question of power permeates your relationship with your customer and dictates how much you do, what information you provide, your overall posture and how you handle each step of the sales and marketing process. Here are five basic rules in how to develop and utilize power in all of your sales and marketing efforts.

1. Do Less: Rule #1 in sales and marketing is to do less. Talk less, listen more. Provide less information and dole out only what is completely necessary. Maintain interest by not showing all your cards at once. If in doubt, wait and see what happens.

The problem with most sales and marketing professionals is that they try too hard. They spend their time trying to please, trying to provide for, trying to accommodate each and every conceivable whim of the customer. Remember that the most important word in business is “no”.

2. Pull, Don’t Push: Remember that customers are like your shadow. If you run after them they will run away from you. Conversely, if you step back customers will come after you. If your customers have a genuine need that you can fulfill then they will stay engaged and will not disappear.

By holding back you demonstrate that you are not desperate and not in need of any particular customer. This approach is sometimes called having posture. It is also similar to when you tell customers that what they are looking for may not be available. Sit back and wait for them.

3. Be Gentle, Yet Firm: Power is all about self respect. What this means is that while you are humble and accommodating and while you treat every customer like you treat your best friend this does not mean becoming a “yes” person. Real friends can disagree.

Hold customers accountable to what they say. Don’t let them waste your time and money through repeated “no shows”. Remember that there are always other customers and that your dignity and self-worth as a sales and marketing professional is your most prized asset and is irreplaceable.

4. Go Slow: Once you have engaged a customer there is an unfortunate tendency in sales and marketing to overwhelm them with information. This is even more acute when a sales or marketing professional discerns that the customer is a “good fit” and has a genuine need for your product.

Remember that customers are not at the same level as you in terms of what they know. They have no idea of the amazing benefits of your product and service and need time to assimilate the knowledge you dole out slowly but surely. Go at their pace and do not rush them.

5. Strike: If there is something that needs saying, say it. If there is something that needs doing, do it. At a certain point in the transaction with your customer your intuition will tell you it is time to move forward and close the next step in the process. Use your built up power to guide the customer onwards.

Power in sales and marketing is all about how you feel. You must wait until the time is ripe before moving forward through successive stages of the sales and marketing cycle. Power can be likened to a dam. As long as you are professional and play your cards right the dam will fill and burst.

Focus on your customer but focus on yourself as well and make sure you feel empowered.

Why Ninja Sales and Marketing Tactics Will Kill Your Profits on the Battlefield

I saw this great TV show the other night on Spike TV with a huge sales and marketing lesson in it, called “Deadliest Warrior.”

Basically, the show created a theoretical fight between a Spartan warrior (i.e. the movie “300″) and a ninja. And what they did was, they took both their common attacks and defenses, and created a fantasy “death match” between them via computer and expert analysis.

So who won?

The Spartan impaled the ninja dude with his spear!

It wasn’t even close.

And this was despite the ninja dude having steel armor and weapons (compared to the Spartan’s bronze armor and weapons)… and despite him having more advanced “technology.”

Anyway, all this blood and carnage got me thinking about marketing.

I believe every marketer falls into one of two categories:

“Spartans” or “Ninjas”.

Just like in the show, both can do lots of damage. But, just like in the show, the Spartan marketer wins hands down.

Why do I say this?

Because like his warrior counterpart, the Spartan marketer uses ancient (yet 100% reliable) principles that work as effectively today as they did 2,500 hundred years ago. While the ninja marketer (like his warrior counterpart) skulks around in the shadows, using tricks and “black hat” techniques that rely on cheating, lying and constantly gaming the system.

This is sort of how it was in the show, too.

At the end, the ninja expert even admitted it when he said (paraphrased): “The ninja wouldn’t even fight the Spartan. He’d just wait until nightfall and kill him in his sleep…”

Whoa!

Anyway, just something to think about.

There are lots of idiots teaching the ninja marketing stuff. But when you look closely, they’re always forced to create new, questionably ethical tricks (as their old ones become obsolete) to keep in the game. And because of this, they always seem to be on the run (from Google slaps, bad reviews, the law, etc).

The Spartan marketer doesn’t Mickey Mouse around like that.

Instead, he dominates his market using timeless principles that work no matter the product, market or economic conditions.

With no black hat tricks needed.

And no sneaking around required.

In the end, he kicks the ninja marketer’s butt.

Successful Prospecting Integrates Sales and Marketing

Who is responsible for prospecting? Sales or Marketing?

It is an age-old debate between these two disciplines, isn’t it? Sales claims that marketing hasn’t created enough leads to meet their goals. And, Marketing claims they have generated hundreds of leads that sales never follows up on.

And, who is right?

They both are! What I have found after working with many sales and marketing teams across many different industries, is that the issue really comes down to two easily addressed areas:

    1. The definition of a lead. Both teams must be VERY clear about what defines a lead. I like to define a lead as an opportunity where the buyer is actively shopping or open to shopping for what you have to sell. If the opportunity is more of a “possibility in the future” then they are still a prospect. Regardless of how you define a lead within your own sales process, the key is that you do so and that both sales and marketing agree and understand that definition. 2. The lack of integration between sales and marketing efforts. Defining what qualifies an opportunity as a “lead” is a great start to successful prospecting. Now you must also define the role of sales and marketing in the converting of prospects to leads. This is where many companies fall down-by either assigning this responsibility to marketing alone or assigning it fully to sales. In reality though, the most effective approach is assigning the responsibility to both and integrating the activities of each. This is not a relay race where one runner hands the baton off cleanly to the next. This is more like a baseball game, where catchers, pitchers, basemen, and outfielders all play their part in an integrated way to win the game.

So what does this mean for you?

Take a hard look at how you identify prospects and what defines a lead for your organization. NOT just from a marketing perspective, nor just from a sales perspective, but from both. Then, analyze your marketing programs for how well they integrate with sales.

An example of an integrated prospecting effort would be: Marketing generates a prospect through a web download from a promotion, Sales calls to further qualify, Marketing invites the highly qualified prospects from the sales call downs to a seminar, Sales meets each attendee at the seminar and sets an appointment for a product demo, etc.

From this example, you can see how integrating your efforts will allow you to more efficiently and effectively identify, qualify, and convert your best prospects. If your efforts aren’t well integrated now, it’s time to get busy reworking your sales and marketing plans.

Essentially, successful prospecting comes down to the powerful integration of the magic of marketing with the science of sales. And though it is not easy and does take discipline, it is well worth it.