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Environmental Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing is about creating an environment in which your customer feels comfortable – even compelled – to do business with you.

Do you wonder why most people today have a built-in aversion to sales and marketing? Why wonder? They do so just deal with it! Overcoming this natural resistance with proactive, polite, persistent and poignant professionalism is what sales and marketing today is all about. Remove obstacles to doing business starting with customer perception and create an irresistible urge to act. Action means the next step in the sales and marketing cycle: engagement, inquiry and finally a sale!

Here is how to become a champion at environmental sales and marketing:

1) Set at Ease – A customer comes to your shop because they find it attractive. A visitor stays on your website because it is entertaining or informative. No one goes out or their way to be sold or marketed to. Therefore do not “sell” or “market” to your customer but rather create a comfortable zone for your customer to engage you in. Let them know they are welcome and that there is no pressure. Making your customer comfortable is the first step in sales and marketing.

2) Communicate Value – The actual sales and marketing process begins with talking about value to the exclusion of anything else. Your customer does not want to hear about how great you, your company or even your product or service are. They want to hear about themselves and how you can help them. They are not your friend and they do not care about you. They care about themselves and therefore you must find out what they care about and communicate that.

3) Listen and Learn – Marketing surveys and discovery sales meetings are all about finding about what makes your customers tick. Do not assume that you know anything about your customer without giving them an opportunity to tell you about themselves. Regardless of how experienced you are selling and marketing your product or service keep in mind that every customer is unique. The art of sales and marketing is making your customer feel comfortable talking.

4) Ask Compelling Questions – Imagine a helpless family whose house has burned to the ground. “What if this happens to you?” asks the ad. It did not sell or market anything but simply depicted a scenario that viewers will want to avoid. “What are you doing about your arthritis pain?” “How long are you going to put yourself at risk?” “What is the cost of doing nothing?” These kinds of questions compel your customer to think and then act.

5) Be Friendly – The person that you like and trust most is the person you are going to do business with. Time and again customers show that they will pay a premium for service. Being sincerely helpful, courteous, respectful and honoring your customer beats price, quality and almost every other market advantage almost every time. Try it, it works. A Turkish saying goes, “a cheerful vinegar seller sells more than a grumpy honey seller.”

6) Open and Close – Once your customer is engaged you must continuously progress them towards the desired outcome of a sale. You do this by creating an open dialog that uncovers their needs and seeks to fulfill them in the best way possible. Find out what they want and then show them what they want. Point them in the right direction one step at a time and let them walk ahead of you. Open the door and close the sale.

7) Diffuse Objections – If you know what customers think that prevents them from buying then speak up about it. Talk about it in your sales presentations and market around it. Your efforts should be to engage, inform and persuade while along the way answering questions and concerns that discourage and prevent a customer from buying. Do not force the issue but simply realize that an objection turned around becomes a reason to buy.

8) Step Aside – I had originally forgotten this one last important point but here it is: once your customer is ready to buy, get out of the way! Your job is creating an environment and setting everything up to gently push your customer forward towards a sale. You have created a comfortable buying environment, providing reasons and gently removed all obstacles to a sale. When a customer says, “okay” then you say “okay” and simply take the order.

Customers like buying and not being sold to so create optimum conditions for them to buy!

Advertising, Sales and Marketing, Online Or Offline – Are They the Same Thing?

For years I’ve been advocating that “sales and marketing” are not the same. Recently I came across an article somewhere on the Internet about “advertising and marketing” not being the same. And a new light went on…

I now write about “advertising, sales and marketing” not being the same. Why is this topic important? Because success in business is all about focus. And to focus, we have to understand business terms and divisional activities of business.

I wrote in one of my books that deals with the six significant divisions of an organization, that sales and marketing are not the same. “Sales” is the direct activity of selling — telephone cold callings, face-to-face presentations, talking to people, point-of-sales merchandising… ONline, it is the link that leads to the payment provider. In other words the actual selling!

Marketing is the activity of studying and researching the product/service markets, the competition (what do they do right and wrong), the demographics, the prospective target market of your business and products, etc., and crunching these results into the tools that will lead to the sales and that will effect the sales.

Now, is advertising and marketing the same? No more than sales and marketing. Advertising is one of the tools that leads to the sales. The tools of advertising are the media used such as direct marketing, newspaper and magazine ads, radio and TV, etc. In ONline business it is the Internet, PPC AdWords, e-zine and article writing, e-mail building and distribution, etc.

Are businesses wasting money advertising? Only if they haven’t done the marketing first. Because how are you going to know who you are advertising to, or where, without having done the research? If you don’t know your target market and you just put an ad in the paper or on radio, you are throwing one message to a large audience that is not even looking for your product – usually 90%. The equivalent in Internet terms is “know your niche” and target your message specifically to it.

For example in OFFline business if you do a direct mail, it’s better to do 100 mailouts in a specific postal area that you can, or your sales team, follow-up within a week, rather than to send out 1,000 or 10,000 anywhere that you cannot follow-up. Because the sales are always in the follow-ups!

In ONline business, you target specific niche — people who are looking for x information or z product, etc. then you advertise or promote within that specific target, i.e. keyword-specific for PPC, for instance, and/or keyword-specific web sites and web-pages.

So, not only are the subject words of this article not the same, but they should be used in this order: Marketing, Advertising and Sales, each building up in their own essential ways to the goal of the business which is to sell what it’s in business to provide to customers. Remember no Sales, no Business!

Sales and Marketing Training – 6 Maximum Steps to Improve Your Sales and Marketing Training

Here’s how you can improve the overall quality and effectiveness of your sales and marketing training:

1. Prepare ahead of time. Work on your training content at least a couple of weeks before the big day. Decide on the type of information that you are going to share, the medium/s that you are going to use, the techniques and elements that you are going to utilize, and the tools and equipments that you are going to need, etc. Perform an extensive research and if needed, interview other industry leaders to obtain more information that can make your sales and marketing training more useful and more content-rich.

2. Goal setting. Start by setting the goals of your training program. Write all the purposes of the training and the desired goals in bullet list. Explain as to how each goal can help your clients in growing their business by augmenting their sales and revenue. Make sure that your goals are measurable, specific, and realistic.

3. Setting up expectations. It would work to your advantage if you can set up your expectations at the start of the training. Tell your trainees what you expect them to do and what you expect them to contribute. Then, ask these people to do the same. Ask about their own expectation with you. Tell them ahead of time if you are going to meet their expectations to avoid giving them false hopes.

4. Training. Start the training by giving your clients with general information about selling and marketing. You may present theories, introduce key people in the industry, and show them statistics. Then, you can give them detailed information as to how they can exactly improve their sales using various selling and marketing tips and techniques. Don’t forget to share your personal stories and experiences to make your programs sound more interesting.

5. Make it interactive. The one thing that you do not want to happen is to bore your trainees as this can affect the entire learning process. Keep them interested by making your trainings more engaging. Ask these people to participate in the discussion as much as possible. Encourage them to ask their questions or share their relevant stories.

6. Knowledge-check. Include activities or get your clients to take an exam just to make sure that you are on the same page. Depending on the result of the activities or the exam, you may need to conduct more trainings until your clients are equipped with the right information.