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"Held Back" Sales and Marketing
September 27, 2010

"Held Back" Sales and Marketing


Greetings!

The best sales and marketing is less about promoting and more about holding back.

As strange as it sounds, in order to keep a customer engaged - especially early on as you strive to build a relationship and trust - the best thing to do is to not give them what they want. Instead, stimulate interaction by giving your customer some of what they ask for while delivering a complete experience in successive stages.

Your goal is to engage your customer in a number of ongoing conversations and interactions instead of just one and you do this by providing breadcrumbs for them to follow you down the path of mutual benefit. To that end, here are Don'ts and Do's for engaging in what I call ”Held Back" Sales and Marketing:

Don'ts

(1) Don't talk about your product... unless you have no other option! Bad sales and marketing is about incessantly pitching your product. Good sales and marketing is about uncovering need and developing relationships

(2) Don't answer every question: There are 2 problems with answering every question a customer asks. First, it gives them control of the conversation. Second, if they have all their questions answered they no longer need you. Instead, create suspense and next steps

(3) Don't provide all information: This follows from point (2) and is also contrary to traditional sales and marketing approaches. The fact is that if you provide a customer will all the information they are looking for - especially in a complex, multi-step sale – then they often go off and make their mind up by themselves

(4) Don't suggest solutions: Going back to point (1) we need to keep in mind to let customers “discover” the solution by themselves – your solution. Your job is to listen and lay breadcrumbs based on what they are saying. Try not to jump ahead but instead lead the way

Do's

(1) Do engage and listen: If there is one thing that most sales and marketing professionals are not as good at as they should be, it is listening. We like to proclaim and explain whereas we should rather develop a talent for creating and managing discussions with customers

(2) Do ask questions: Remember that a person asking the questions and listening is the one in control of the conversation. Rather than give in to the temptation to lapse into sales-and-marketing-speak, use thoughtful pauses in the conversation to ask more questions

(3) Do build trust and rapport: A common misconception in sales and marketing is that your job is to talk about your company, products and services. While this certainly is the endpoint of a customer discussion, the starting point is building a relationship

(4) Do book the next step: Once you have built sufficient credibility with the customer through your professional empathy you may take on the role of guide. Your job is to engage customers on a journey, step by step, to a mutually beneficial desired outcome

Rather than trying to push customers forward, hold back and create a sales and marketing "pull" instead!

Regards,
Hussain

www.sales-and-marketing-for-you.com

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