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The First Rule of Consistent Marketing Success

. . . Sell your product or service to the people who will truly benefit from it.


That seems obvious on the face of it, but look at how we describe a "Superstar Salesperson".

  • "If he gets in the room with them, he can close them."
  • "He's incredible, he just eventually wears them down."
  • "He could sell anything to anybody."

Does it sound like these people are buying something they actually need?

Does it sound like the salesperson cares one way or another?

Should we care one way or another? After all, if he makes quota, what difference does it make?

It makes a big difference.

Why? Here're a few good reasons:

  • No Referrals.
  • No repeat business.
  • Constant hustling to replace the last sale.
  • No positive word of mouth in the community.

The result is that once that superstar salesperson burns out his territory . . . and he will . . . he'll have to switch companies so that he can start all over again. Your sales will immediately fall because the next person has an image problem to overcome every time s/he tries to get an appointment or make a sale.

Does this sound like the best way to increase sales?

Wouldn't it be easier if every appointment wasn't about closing a quick sale, but about doing the right thing for the prospect? Look at the advantages:

  • Repeat Business
  • Enthusiastic Referrals
  • Positive word of mouth in the community
  • Sales walking in the door instead of being dragged in

What does this mean from a marketing standpoint? It means that the goal of marketing is to not only get appointments, but to target the appointments toward the prospects who will receive the most benefit from the relationship.

It means that you don't ambush the prospect with a blind appointment, you find out if you can help him or her first, then set the appointment.

It means that when you make the sale, it's because you believe that the prospect will come out ahead.

You might be thinking "Hey, that sounds great in an ivory tower, but I've got quota to meet!". Look at it this way, SOMEBODY will benefit from your service, right?

You can't possibly be screwing every single customer.

The key is to generate enough qualified leads that you can do well and do good at the same time. If you have enough prospects you don't have to sweat it when you let someone know that you just don't have a good fit.

If you don't believe that it's possible to do those things in your industry, then you might want to reconsider the industry.

Today's sales process . . .

The process of sales today is very similar to the primitive hunter-gatherer methods that our ancestors used thousands of years ago. Back then, people picked the ripe fruit and clubbed the slow moving animals. If there wasn't ripe fruit or slow animals, they went somewhere else.

Later, they learned to plant seeds and come back around again later to harvest the crops that grew. This was a major improvement. For the first time, there was control over the food supply.

Today, we aren't picking fruit, we're trying to make sales.

Actually, over half of the salespeople today aren't even to the hunter-gatherer stage yet. Instead of moving to where the sales are, they sit in the office and wait for the sales to walk in the door.

If you or your sales people are waiting for business to walk in the door, the first big step is to get outside where the sales are.

Here's how to increase sales . .

First, determine the maximum number of prospects that you could market to. It will depend on your business of course, but a business-to-consumer example might be homeowners in your county with children at home earning over $50,000 a year.

Then start calling them and building a database of the results. You will either start generating business or you will receive a big reality check.

Once you have some data, start focusing on the best prospects. The more calling you make, the better you can focus.

Hopefully, by the time you have finished working with the leads generated from calling all of prospects, enough time will have past that it makes sense to start all over again. Only this time, you have more information. You know the best time to reach Mr. Smith. Your efficiency rises. Sales are predictable. Life is looking pretty good. But the good times may not last forever.

If you sell too much too fast, if your sales goals exceed the maximum your territory can provide, you may burn out your territory. Much like the early farmers, you wore out the land and a little fertilizer is needed.

One form of fertilizer is brand awareness. A series of properly designed direct mail pieces can create positive brand awareness. Press releases about your business can certainly help. In general, anything that gets your name out there in a positive way will help.

These things don't increase the number of prospects, but they do increase the percentage chance of a prospect being willing to work with you. If this doesn't do enough, then you can take steps to create more valid prospects.

You can start focusing on helping prospects grow so they can become clients. You can help clients grow so that they can buy more. You can figure out a way to harvest an entirely different crop. Or like your ancestors did for thousands of years, you can move on to a different area and start all over.

Whatever stage you are in, we can help.

  • If you are waiting for business, we can show you where it is.
  • If you're considering selling a new line, we can give you an idea of how successful it will be.
  • If you're deciding whether or not to move on, we can advise you as to whether or not to move on, and which direction to head in.

by: Patrick Kilhofer, President, Direct Connections International, Inc. Contact Patrick at [email protected] or call 309.661.1364.

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