Marketing is the new sales
People increasingly want to buy without ever wanting to speak to or meet anyone. For someone like me, who has spent most of my working life in sales or sales management, this may sound quite concerning.
But it shouldn’t be. Many of the techniques I learned in my sales training and in my experience dealing with customers can be applied to online marketing.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a sales background. I am going to teach you what you need to know and how to apply it.
Sales Techniques that will Help You Market Your Business.
So let’s look at some of the key things you learn in sales training and how they apply to marketing.
People buy from people.
I hear you say – “How can this be true if the modern customer wants to buy without speaking to or meeting anyone?”
What is actually the case is that people don’t want to buy from a “salesperson”. They don’t want to deal with someone who is just trying to sell a product or service to gain a commission, but that doesn’t mean to say that they don’t want to get to know and trust who they are buying from.
It is a well known and fairly obvious fact that people prefer to buy from people they like and trust. So present yourself as a real person. This can be through your blog or website or through your activity on social media. Let people know the real you. Genuinely try to help them whenever you can.
A good example is Pat Flynn. I know Pat personally, but even before I met him, I already felt like I knew him and wanted to work with him. This was purely through his online presence and the way he came across to his audience as someone who was there to help them.
This is why podcasts and video can be so powerful. People see you like they would see a celebrity, but someone who is also real and accessible. Someone who is trying to help them. It’s a skill, but when done well it is very effective.
Listen to your customer
When planning your online business or your marketing, listen to what your customer actually wants. This will help you understand what will make them want to visit your site or blog, sign up for your email list and purchase your product.
With social media, this is much easier to do. However, you need to initially think about people as your potential audience before you think of them as potential customers.
If you have contacts or subscribers, try to find out what is important to them. What are their needs? What are their interests? Maybe run a quick survey, or better still, send them a quick email asking for their input. People love to be asked for their opinion and it shows that you value their input.
You could also join Facebook groups that fit your business model. For example, if you are in the diet industry, you could join groups of people looking to lose weight. People will ask the group for answers to their questions. If you know a solution to any of these problems, you can reply. You may have a product or article that helps solve the problem or you may see a need to develop a product to fit.
You are listening to your audience and addressing their needs.
Find Common Ground
A technique that many salespeople use is to try to find a common interest in their prospects. It is an extension of the “people buy from people” statement. People also buy from people they feel they have something in common with.
If you are still learning something, say so. People appreciate knowing that you are in the same place as they are. They like the opportunity to learn with you. I freely admit that I am still learning most things, but when I gain an understanding of something, I try to share how I got there.
If your business targets a specific type of person or people with a specific interest, highlight the fact. This will attract the right audience of people who can relate to what you are saying.
Sell Solutions, not Products
This is a big one. You have to solve a problem. You have to fulfill a need.
If you fully understand what your customer wants or needs, you can present your product or service as a solution.
It doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles your product has, the only way it will sell is if it solves a problem your audience has.
This could be showing them how to get out of a dead end job buy building a side business, or how to lose fat around their stomach 6 weeks, without going near a gym.
Once you know this, you can tailor your ads, your landing pages and the material you give away to attract these people and encourage them to sign up for your email list to learn more. You provide what John Lee Dumas refers to as “value bombs”. Pieces of information that people how and think: That’s just what I have been looking for; that solves a problem I have; that could really help me move forward”
Believe in Your Product (and Yourself)
I have always been fortunate to sell products and services, I actually believed would help my customers and were better than my competitors. This isn’t always the case. A good salesperson really believes in their product or service and understands how it can benefit their customers. Understanding the customer’s needs goes hand in hand with this.
I recently listened to an Episode or Jamie Masters, Eventual Millionaire Podcast. You should check it out.
Here she interviews Paul Elliott. Paul, like me, is from England. Unlike me, he is still there soaking up the British Winter. Sorry, I didn’t mean to gloat, sitting here in the California sunshine.
Paul made a statement during the interview, a very passionate statement, which really resonated with me. Here it is:
It’s to do with belief. See, I have a core belief that whatever I’m doing is going to transform your life. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing it, because I’m here to make a difference. First and foremost, I’m here to make a difference. I’m not here to make money first. Money’s important. It’s got to be in the mix, absolutely.
But I’m here to make a difference first.
So I need you to come on a journey with me. But the only way you can come on the journey is if you buy the ticket. Because otherwise you’re going to leave and you’re going to go back to your day-to-day routine, back to your normal life, back to your normal environment, and shit all is going to change. Ten years from now will be exactly the same. You’ll just be ten years older with more gray hair, more wrinkles, feeling more sorry for yourself. You’ve got to change and that transformation has to start now. The only way it starts is you come on a journey with me. That’s my core belief.
So I have to do whatever is in my power to get you to make a decision to step up, come on this program, whatever it might be at the time, and therefore come on this journey. Because it’s going to change your life and you’re going to start seeing the results that you want to see show up in your life.
If you have this much belief in what you are offering and what you can deliver, people will feel it and will come on board. They will feel that you really know how to take them where they want to go and they can’t afford not to sign up.
You can present this in your marketing. If you get the chance, take a look at someone like Russell Brunson, of Click Funnels. Russell is passionate about Click Funnels and its benefits but is also able to show those benefits through different media.
However, you still need to back this up. The belief needs to come from the fact that you have already fully tested what you have on offer. You need to know that it works for you and that it will work for others.
I hope this gives you some ideas on how you can take sales techniques and apply them to online marketing and online business and remember
Marketing is the new Sales
Links to other resources you may find useful: