I want you to think about the elements that need to be in place prior to the sale of anything. Let’s use the example of a set of biodegradable bamboo pegs. Are you selling pegs or a complex set of benefits? Are you selling a tool that hangs clothes on the washing line or the feeling that your customer gets from buying an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to plastic? Is this a choice about convenience or values? The marketing process for each is quite different.
If someone only needed pegs as a convenience, they will throw them in the shopping trolley during the weekly shop without even thinking about them. They will be cheap, mass produced in India or China; and made of plastic that will never break down in our life time. Both the bamboo and plastic products fulfill the need to hang clothes on the washing line, but only one product is a conscious choice based on a set of values and complex benefits. Why develop biodegradable bamboo pegs as a product when the alternative product is cheap, and easily available? Because there is an obvious customer demand, and this product development was part of a marketing process.
Sales happen when all the elements of the marketing process (product/service development, market offer, pricing, distribution channel, positioning and marketing communications etc) have been strategically thought through and delivered.
There is no such thing as a product or service that sells itself – it must be marketed. Its easy to think that if your customers love your product or service, that will automatically lead to many more potential customer sales! For sales to be successful, product or services must be marketed to potential customers you have identified as having similar want and needs as customers who love your products or services.
The marketing process is important in the promotion of intangible and tangible customer benefits. People make buying decisions using their emotions, based on benefits and not as you would expect, in a logical thought process. That’s why there are sales of biodegradable bamboo pegs.
People then justify their decision with facts. The emotions and feelings are the hooks, the facts are the rational justification for the purchase decision. There are rational decisions for buying supermarket plastic pegs.
The marketing process helps you answer the customers “what’s in it for me” question, including perceived value. The value to the buyer has to be greater than the asking price and that is why they will still buy the more expensive biodegradable bamboo pegs over it’s cheaper rival.
All the strategic marketing tactics discussed here are delivered through the marketing planning process. However, here are five tried and tested tactics that will improve your sales performance:
Develop 30-day sales goals each month
Break down how many sales you need each month to meet your planned revenue targets. Determine exactly how many face to face meetings, calls, emails and blog posts you need to have, make, send or write to generate your target sales.
Make the first task of every day, activities to create sales
Focus each day, first thing in the morning, on actions that are “sales development” or will definitely lead to sales. Do this offline and don’t go online* (*read getting distracted) until complete. You should be doing at least 60 minutes of sales development activities per day.
Ask existing customer for referrals
Ask for referrals, they can always say no – but be honest – you need the work or you need to sell.
Prepare for “ Sales Objections”
Write down all the “sales objections” you get from potential customers and then script positive responses – so you are prepared for them when they are spoken, it will be the difference between passive and active selling that will get better results.
Follow up old sales leads
Get out every old business card, brochure or any other sales lead that you may have and start calling these contacts. Take out any old enquiries that had not been converted into sales and follow up on every single one of them.
Let me know if find you find these tactics helpful or have some others that work well for you?
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About the author: Teresa Bassham is the Chief Coach & Boss Lady of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, and is passionate about educating small business professionals to create their authentic marketing message and attract their ideal customers. She coach customers face to face, online and by phone – if you would like to discuss your needs - please contact.
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