There Ought’a Be a Law!
By Steven Powell
There ought’a be a law that says anyone responsible for any kind of a marketing effort for any kind of a business enterprise – in any place, in any way – must spend a year selling directly to the public first. Person-to-person. Face-to-face. Then, and only then, should they take a stab at writing marketing copy.
Webster defines marketing as: “The process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service”. With respect, this author offers a slightly different definition. Marketing is nothing more mysterious than selling long-distance.
First-rate sales people have an inherent sense of what buttons to push and how best to push them. They understand their consumers’ pain points and take great pleasure in finding new and innovative ways to “make the pain go away”.
There are so many “answers” to marketing’s never-ending questions that it’s impossible to count them all. Self-help books, audio tapes and CDs, blogs, newsletters; everyone’s got the answer. Ready for this? So do you.
If you’ve successfully sold your product or service for any length of time, then you know which messages reach out to your customers and which ones fall on deaf ears. And yet, when it comes to your advertising, direct mail, or the other barrage of business communication vehicles, you don’t trust your own instincts.
But, you should.
A good marketer understands effective sales techniques – not just the what, but the why as well. The biggest difference? The sales person gets to say it in person, responding to the customer’s objections or questions in a real-time conversation. Not so the marketer, who must make do with a brand and a few well-chosen words.
It’s not really all that complicated to market your business effectively. If you wouldn’t say it to a potential customer or client in person – don’t say it in your marketing materials. Determine your chief sales message (price benefits, quality, convenience, problem solving, etc…) and get it out there. Find that Big Idea that will grab people’s attention and force them to hear your message. Then say what you’d say if they were sitting right in front of you.