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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.

Sales and Marketing – A Foray Into the Market

The terms, “Sales” and “Marketing” appear to be similar in functionality and have similar objectives, yet they are two separate entities. There is certainly a strong interspersing relationship between Sales and Marketing, since each complements the other to achieve a common objective of achieving higher sales and maximum profits for the business organization. As far as Sales are concerned, it is purely an act of selling a product or services to customers for profit. Marketing improves the impact of selling and therefore plays a very significant role in the sales of a product.

Marketing essentially is to comprehend the precise requirement of the prospective customer in relation to the product that is offered to the customer. The concept of marketing lies in the fact that the gamut of marketing activities should emphasize on the needs of the consumer while focusing on achieving the expected target of profits. Marketing is defined as the overall activities that are conducted in a systematic manner that would provide an impetus to increase sales and so far as the activities pertaining to product or services fall in line with the prevalent ethical norms.

However, the main objective in marketing stresses on maintaining a healthy relationship with the customer and creating a satisfied customer since a satisfied customer is an asset to the company supplying the products. The customer always comes first and the profits follow much later in priorities. In other words, a customer is entitled to total and undivided attention from the vending company and in case he is taken lightly and neglected, it often detrimental results, such as, failure to retain customers and no further repeat orders leading to depleted profits.

One of the facets of marketing is to ensure that the entire marketing activity is requires to be well-planned in a systematic manner to attain business objectives. A methodical effort in marketing is necessary to make sure that customers are induced to buy a particular product and services offered by the vending company which holds true for first time customers. A concerted marketing effort helps not only to boost business but also tend to increase sales by bringing in repeat orders. Marketing professionals play a pivotal role in assessing and analyzing the market conditions and trends for placement of the product. The marketing team joins hands with the R&D, Finance and other departments in the company to help in appraising the requirements of customers to the R&D department, who design and develop a product that is well accepted in the market.

The pricing and the commercial terms are defined in consultation with the Finance Department keeping in view the market trends, the costs involved in the development of the product and the costs of overheads. The delivery schedules are planned to expedite delivery of products in a manner that benefits the customer considering the prioritization of deliveries on a first come and first served basis. The Marketing professionals essentially provide the ammunition to the sales force such as promotional literature, advertising, publicity material to enable them to spearhead with an aggressiveness that would thwart competition.

The New Sales And Marketing, Playing A Different Game!

We all know that customers are changing the way they buy. It’s driving profound change in the way sales and marketing need to engage customers. Traditionally, we have been somewhat at odds with each other, working in our own silo’s.

Marketing would conduct all sorts of programs to increase awareness, drive demand, generate leads. Marketing would hand those off to sales-sales would reject them, we would go back and forth a little, a few leads would be qualified and then sales took over, marketing’s job was finished, the ball was in sales court, it became sales’ responsibility to close the customer. Marketing’s role was relatively independent of sales, and the processes were executed sequentially. Often one could be successful-achieve their own metrics or goals, while the other might not.

Things have changed. Customers are buying differently. The game has changed for marketing and sales. My friend, Rich Bravman describes the new marketing and sales as something like a basketball team.

Each person on the team has a role, the team moves up and down the court together, passing the ball to each other, running plays, all trying to get someone in the best position to score. The team works together, defending against the opponent, each person taking a role, whether it is to cover a specific opponent or cover a zone. Fluidity and adaptability is key to the success of the team. The ball always is passed to the person that can move the ball further down court or is in the best position to score.

The new sales and marketing is much like playing basketball. Each of us has our role, but we need to work together through the entire customer engagement cycle. Our goals are aligned-we are all working together to make goals and to win the game. Our roles are intertwined, we work together through the entire process, passing the ball back and forth. We pass the ball to the person who can move it further down court, position us best for making a goal. It may be sales in some cases, in others it may be marketing.

Plays become more dynamic-changing to fit the situation. It’s no longer a sequential process, but interleaved. In the new sales and marketing, sales must engage sooner-and differently. Marketing stays engaged longer. We pass the ball back and forth to each other, we go down court together, we are aligned around our goals and metrics.

Are your sales and marketing teams aligned and playing the new game?