Isn’t This the Marketing Department’s Job?

Traditionally, the job of marketing has been to create awareness and excitement about a product, service, idea or cause. The pre-sales cycle managing above the funnel, the first fourth of the sales funnel.

The job of sales has been to qualify and close business; to chaperone a prospect through the bottom ¾ of the traditional sales funnel.

Twenty-first century selling has changed that. Today, marketing and selling are much more integrated. It may not seem that way to the self-employed and small business owners who have always done both jobs; but it is even more so today.

To generate revenue, each of us has to:

Make the buyer aware of a problem, of our solution, of us
Keep the buyer interested by addressing his specific wants and needs
Help get the buyer ready to make a buying decision and understand his buying process
Be there when the buyer is ready to make a buying decision
This last point is where the vast majority of sales and marketing people fail. They spend time priming the prospect. Educating him. Exciting him. Getting him ready to make a decision. Then, when the buyer is ready to make a buying decision, the salesperson is nowhere to be found and someone else steps in and reaps the reward of his hard work.

A buyer buys when he’s ready to buy and if you’re not there he’s not buying from you.

A successful salesperson changes this unfortunate situation by:

Addressing the buyer’s different concerns
Reaching out to the buyer in different ways
Always being close to the buyer
This last bullet point is where the average salesperson drops the ball.

I get it. I do it all anyway. So what’s the big deal?

Fair question. After all, you are not average. You understand the role of the primary marketer and seller. You understand selling is your first job.

What you may not realize is that you can use traditional marketing and electronic Internet techniques strategically to reduce the amount of time you spend selling and still stay close to your buyer so you are there when he is ready to buy.

Here’s a few ideas:

Place a blog on your web page and write a 250 – 500 word keyword search posting three times a week. Connect your blog to Twitter®. Tweak your blog posts and submit them to online article publishing services. Have a link to a particular page on your website in your author’s bio for your article. Make sure you have a sign up box on your website pages and in your office or store for different reasons:

Updates and notifications of offers
Set up an autoresponder sequence. An autoresponder is a scheduled message sent to a person who signs up and opts to receive information from you. The frequency varies from daily to several times a week to weekly and monthly depending on what you want to convey. The genius here is that you can have different sequences pre-populated for different frequencies depending on the reason for the opt-in saving you hours of unnecessary extra work each day.

Capture telephone numbers. Make it a point and a best practice to telephone the person who opted in to your list within twenty-four hours just to introduce yourself, to thank them, and to ask if they have any questions you can answer.

Send out postcards directing readers to a sign up page where you have something to offer in exchange for an email and phone number. Request the same information in your mailings in exchange for something of value- a discount on future purchases, a special report, a gift. Take out inexpensive text ads in the newspaper and direct them to the same or different page.

The point is that efforts should be strategic and integrated. Stop shooting in a thousand different directions that ultimately take more time than necessary and lead away from your business. Focus instead on creating value added reasons buyers would want to hear from you and talk to you.

Mark H Daniels is a B2B and B2C sales strategist, coach and copywriter helping people and businesses present themselves in print, in person, and on the web in a way that has prospects and customers making decisions in their favor and saying “thanks.”

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