Sell Me Something I Understand
One of the questions I like to ask when I meet a prospective client is… So, how does your business actually make money?
It seems such an obvious question and one we sometimes fall into the trap of forgetting (or overlooking). But, when you dissect the process and ultimate end-game, you can produce much more powerful sales messages, especially when it comes to creating gateways for people to buy into what you do in a way that suits them.
If you understand how you make your money, you can work out how to dress up the sales and marketing pitch to find more of the same.
I think some examples are called for.
Not marketing, sales
I’m in [digital] marketing but I don’t play great with most marketing people. I get on dandy with salespeople though. Partly, because I love sales, and partly, because I’ve discovered that unless you are a large brand (or are very brand-focused), ramping up the marketing is actually code for… Get me more sales!
While I actually make money from selling my expertise by the day, I’m in a crowded marketplace full of SEO mumbo-jumbo and promises. This complicates my basic marketing sales pitch. But, by identifying what my clients want – more sales – I can come at it at a different angle.
When most sales directors live or die by their results, it stands to reason they will judge their team (and their suppliers) by a similar benchmark. So, by working backwards, I’m actually selling something slightly different to them… sales leads.
This doesn’t mean I can’t sell what I do with an alternative pitch to other people, it just means I can create one specific pitch for one defined audience.
For instance, another of my pitches is based on ‘is your website not delivering what you expect?’ with the sale being a very quick free audit. This creates questions, reasons and opportunities to deliver the next steps – a paid-for audit, which often leads to remedy requirements based around delivering quick ROI.
- I buy professional services for my business based on the people relationships alone – I’m quite clueless whether a legal contract or set of accounts actually look that great.
- My friend loves cars. He studies them when buying a new one. I get in one and if it looks okay and feels okay when I push the accelerator, it’ll do.
- When I buy print collateral, I never look at what presses a company has, or look at paper samples (as I used to). I go online and get it cheap delivered to my door because it’s easier, good enough for purpose, and disposable.
- Retailers no longer just shift products, they now need to offer a shopping ‘experience’ to get people through the door.
These examples rely on brand differentiation at heart (often coming down to personalities in a small business), which comes in all shapes and sizes, including how you say what you say to attract the right type of customer.
So, if you think all people are potential clients, you’re wrong. If you think people need or care about your product, think again. But, if you can target your ideal customers and forget about the rest you’ll have a much more compelling sales pitch (or pitches) – with much high conversion rates.