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The Most Important Thing in Sales and Marketing
November 16, 2013

The Most Important Thing in Sales and Marketing

The most important thing in sales and marketing is making sure your customer wants to talk to you next time

Greetings Sales and Marketer:

What is the main thing you focus on when engaging with a customer (new or old)? Sales and Marketing for “You” is about keeping your focus on your customer THEMSELVES (that is who “you” is); everything begins and ends with them and your focus should remain on them and them alone for the entirety of the time that you are planning around and engaging them. Ideally, you should have your customer in mind even before you design and develop your product. You should meaningfully interact with them PRE and POST sale. You should actually use the word “you” in your sales and marketing communications

What most sales organizations will tell you is that the focus of your interaction and engagement with your customer should be about creating value for them. What this means is not focusing just on features but on the benefits to your customer of what you are selling. The problem with this approach is that it is too simplistic and reduces your relationship with customers to the act of doing business with them (even if you call it “serving” them). The correct approach is to focus on relationships instead and for this you need to apply what I call the “open door” approach

As a sales and marketing guy I try and keep one and just one thing in mind: the NEXT time I call and come round I want to be WELCOME. It does not matter to me whether this is a sales, support or service call. It does not matter whether I called on the customer or they called on me. It does not matter whether we are talking about business or something else or even whether or not I have properly qualified the person I am speaking to as being a good fit for my product or service. My point is that everything else is secondary to connecting with the other person, getting them to relax and then engaging with them in a productive dialogue

There is nothing quite as satisfying as truly interacting with another person. A good conversation can go on for hours and is the most enlivening thing. Personally, this is what I love about sales and marketing, the opportunity to engage, interact with and experience other people. My belief is that if you seek genuine interactions, you will find relationships and lasting business. The key is that people come first, not getting the sale or asking a predetermined set of questions or capturing all of their information or anything like that. Just them and making them feel good. The warm and fuzzy feeling that you create for customers is worth more than anything else you do for them

Some people may read this and think that they have to become Mr. or Ms. Personality and win customers over with buckets of wit and charm. I do not mean anything of the sort, unless this is who you are by nature. The general axiom of “be yourself” when dealing with others holds true here. All I am saying is that your focus should be on listening, empathizing and making the other person feel like they are in charge is what sales and marketing is really all about. Sure, talk about your product or service as much as you want, but only when asked. In the meantime, learn to pick up on all of the signals the other person is sending on telling you how tuned in and happy they are

At the end of the day, sales and marketing is not rocket science. It can’t be all that hard if kids can do it, not to mention people of every age and background from all over the world. People will always buy and so sales will always happen regardless or not of whether you or someone else “makes” them happen. What you should aim for, however, is to turn the common stereotype of negative sales and marketing on its head. What I mean is that rather than try and force your pitch on someone else at every opportunity, instead, try and work out ways to talk about what you do conversationally and naturally based on things that the other person is telling you. Learn to enjoy the interaction

Success in sales and marketing does not come from the next deal but the next person who is engaged and open to interacting with you again in the future


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