Having previously covered social media (The Marketing Master Class – Social Media for Business), Kimberly Davis kindly invited me along to the third in her Marketing Masters Series. And this time the topic was Linking Marketing and Sales.
Kimberly started with a very simple definition; Marketing is anything that represents your company.
Marketing vs Sales
– example of a football team – team is the marketing effort – the striker is the sales
– Better if different people due to different goals
o Marketing – long term – brand building – consistency – impersonal
o Sales – short term – translates interest into a sale – personal (one to one)
Fear of sales
– If your product is good, you are doing them a favour by telling them about it.
– It’s is just a conversation – not a sales pitch
– People buy from people they know, like and trust
– You should be able to say what you do in two words
– Forget witty tag lines that say nothing
– Example – Campbell’s condensed soup – Sasparilla marketing detoxification
– Forget your gut instinct – you can’t sell to everybody
– Who is your ideal customer?
– Create a profile for them – age, race, interests, position, salary etc
Selling the right thing
– What is going to make you the most ROI (return on investment)?
– Are you selling the right thing to the right people?
– Where does it hurt for your customers?
– Solve a problem
– People buy what they want, not what they need.
Focus on the benefits
– What are your benefits?
– What problem can you solve?
– How can you make their life easier?
Unique Selling Point
– What are you USP’s?
– Be ‘the only …’
– Focus – If you try to be everything to everyone, you will be nothing to no one
The Elevator Pitch
– It is the most important thing in your marketing strategy.
– You have twenty seconds to make an impact.
– Can you clearly articulate what you do in that time?
– People will decide whether to file or forget you based on this.
– No more that two short sentences long.
o Who, what, why when and how?
– Find the right words to use
– Keep it simple
– Focus on fears and needs
– Read it out and hear how it sounds
– Test it on lots of people and get feedback
– Ask them to say it back to you to see what they remember
Kimberly’s elevator pitch for Sarsaparilla:
50% of marketing is wasted. Sarsaparilla is a marketing consulting and training agency that specialises in marketing purification – the process of detoxing your marketing, protecting you from The Flash, Fluff and Fakers, and helping you make more money with less.
Sales across the Marketing Umbrella
– How you create trust with your customers
– You brand must be protected at all costs
– Make sure everyone sticks to the same elevator pitch
– Gives a consistent experience
– Under promise and over deliver
– Forget Richard Branson as a role model – He has more failed than successful business
– Don’t use cheap or free cards – it shows
– Make sure you have a proper email address (not @yahoo.com) – makes you look established
– Write down where you met on the back of cards you recieve
– Keep your card’s content simple
– What impression does your card make?
– Brochures flyers are a waste of time in Kimberly’s opinion
– Instead just give people your card
– Most people look to social media for information – not to be sold to
– 20% of all tweets are about business
– LinkedIn search engine optimisation
– Free download – 10 Ways to Use Social Media for Business – www.sarsaparillamarketing.com
– You do not need stress balls or pens – not a good use of money according to Kimberly
Eshots, flyers, emails etc
– Don’t always take, learn to give
– It’s about building a relationship
– Don’t SPAM people
– Add Value – keep it short and simple, and interesting
– MailChimp gives you up to 2,500 emails for free –
– Data capture – emails and phone numbers should be visible
– Download offers in exchange for contact details
– Don’t over use stock photography – professional personal are better – see where images are being used on tineye.com.
– Videos – a brilliant way of experiencing your product or service – much less expensive than in the past
– SEO – don’t pay for rankings – don’t use Flash only sites
– Linking with other websites moves you up the Google rankings
– 50% will only look at your first page – so make sure it contains your elevator pitch
– Get others to sing your praises
– Find out why people don’t buy from you – then work out what would overcome that resistance
– Keep them short – headlines are best
– White papers and case studies for more in depth
– Consider selective use of videos
– Generally not a good investment
– Need to have a call to action – give people an incentive to buy or contact
– Promo code to enable tracking
– Getting other people to say it for you
– Time to use your elevator speech
– How to get in out of a conversation – ‘I don’t want to keep you from networking with other people here’… Don’t be too obvious
– Business Cards
– Carry a nice pen – cheap pen = cheap company
– Think beyond the person in front of you – they may know someone relevant
– Ask for what you want – they may be able to help
– Pay if forward
– 5 minutes per person
Ways to measure your return on marketing investment
– Take an inventory
o List of clients and what they buy from you
o Review you client profile
Their profile – hobbies, interests etc
When they buy
Why they buy
Survey with SurveyMonkey
o Do your market research – not with family and friends
o Gives you a starting point for measurement
Creating a process (funnel?)
– Your customers journey to your product
– How do you get them to say ‘yes’
– Don’t be sucked into discount advertising that is not targeted at your customers
– People don’t want to be marketed to
– Much more open if you get them to come to you
– Generate interest
– Example of Sun and Wind in competition too get a man to take his coat off. Persuasion more effective than force.
Incentivise your customers
– Free downloads
– Building your database
– Landing page
– Collecting business class
– What are you doing with the list?
– Grow list organically
Generating new leads
– Tradeshows, events, contests, social media
– Buying databases is not straightforward
Ask why people aren’t buying
– Overcoming obstacles
– Ask why they won’t buy
– An opportunity to show you can overcome these
Cost of customer acquisition
– Calculate – x calls, x leads, x meetings, = x sales
– Let other formats do the work for you – advertising, website, social media
Retention / Customer service
– Don’t forget about your existing clients
– Increasing sales through your current clients
– Repeat business
– Get current customers to increase quantity, frequency and price
Multiple revenue streams
– Don’t have all your eggs in one basket
– Make money in your sleep
– Surveys, announcements, newsletters, special access
– 90 days or less
– Remember to give as well as take
– Sampling your goods and services increases your sales success
– Don’t fall into the trap of lowering your price in a recession
– Clear pricing structure and clarity
– Group into easy to understand sections
– Be transparent
– People don’t buy based on price
– Don’t cheapen yourself with sales
– When it doubt, put prices up
Referral and Affiliate plans
Stop selling and allow people to buy from you
Find a mentor
– 30 thousand businesses will fail this year because of lack of knowledge or experience
A Hobby or a Business?
– Plan and then take action
Kimberly’s keynote speaker for the final slot of the day was Sharon Wright, who’s claim to fame is delivering the best pitch in the history of Dragons Den.
– Took one day off in the first year of developing the idea.
– Single parent entrepreneur
– ‘Think big and you will be big’
– Decided to start with the biggest BT
o 2 hours of negativity
o 6 Sigma proof required
o Would be virtually impossible
o Had never been done before
o One positive – the product had legs
– First paying customer was with Cromwell tools – told them BT was a buy (a bit cheeky)
– From creation to market within 6 months
– Strong self belief is 1st important ingredient for business success
– Aim was to be the best presenter on Dragons Den – achieved this goal
– Preparation (2nd key ingredient for business success)
– Practiced her three minute pitch 100 times a day for three weeks
– Read all of the Dragon’s books to help choose which partner to go with
– After the show was aired Sharon received 7,000 emails
– Was now working 22 hours a day, seven days a week.
– Loneliness of starting a business (3rd key ingredient)
– As time went on her self belief began to drop
– Met Tony Larkin at the British Inventors show who offered to invest in her
– Sharon has now sold her Magnamole to an American company keeping a 10% holding.
– The most important lesson learnt was to trust her instincts, and get a business mentor. You are often too emotionally close to your business to make objective business decisions.
– Story reminds me of one of my earliest blog posts on Dragons Den
Sharon’s book ‘Mother of Invention – How I won Dragons Den, Lost my mind, Nearly lost my business and ended up reinventing myself’, tells of her personal struggle as a single mother, inventor and entrepreneur.
It has been reviewed on my colleague Steve Van Dulken’s Patent Search Blog.