Mar­ket­ing as a sup­port func­tion for sales­peo­ple

MAR­KET­ING AND SALES GO HAND IN HAND. LO­GAN WEDG­WOOD EX­PLAINS WHY YOUR MAR­KET­ING MUST BE EF­FEC­TIVE IN HELP­ING YOUR CUS­TOMERS BE­LIEVE YOUR SALES­PEO­PLE.

NZ Business - - MARKETING MATTERS - THERE IS

one ques­tion that a cus­tomer can ask, ei­ther out loud or in their head (in which case you won’t even have a chance to an­swer it), that can be the un­do­ing of a sale.

That ques­tion is: Why should I be­lieve you?

To­day cus­tomers are thought to be over 50 per­cent through their buy­ing process be­fore they even reach out to you. They al­ready know more than they are let­ting on. They have al­ready re­searched op­tions and they have an idea that they want to buy, book, or en­gage.

They are of­ten just de­cid­ing whether or not they want to buy from you. So why should they be­lieve you? Why are you the best choice or the log­i­cal op­tion?

Why will they FEEL bet­ter buy­ing from you? What ev­i­dence do you have that you have helped peo­ple in their sit­u­a­tion be­fore? Are your other cus­tomers happy? Do you have a well-es­tab­lished trad­ing his­tory or a rep­u­ta­tion de­vel­oped over time? Is your rep­u­ta­tion on­line (and off!) squeaky clean?

The op­por­tu­nity for mar­keters is to think cre­atively about ways that they can sup­port sales­peo­ple with proof – clever ways to show the cus­tomer that you are the log­i­cal choice; ap­peal­ing to them emo­tion­ally as well as log­i­cally.

I see so many web­sites with stock tes­ti­mo­ni­als that you know are to­tal ‘BS’. Fake pho­tos, stock text and no ex­am­ple of busi­ness in­dus­try; just some guy called Brian from In­di­ana.

Why is a guy called Brian from In­di­ana the key tes­ti­mo­nial for a car­pet clean­ing com­pany in Auck­land, New Zealand? There is so much in­au­then­tic­ity in mar­ket­ing th­ese days that cre­ates dis­trust among the gen­eral pub­lic.

So, let me ask you this: is your mar­ket­ing help­ing your cus­tomers be­lieve your sales­peo­ple?

Tan­gi­ble me­dia is one mar­ket­ing chan­nel that is mak­ing a come­back. Cus­tomers still en­joy be­ing able to ex­plore your com­pany through me­dia they can touch and feel. Can you tell sto­ries about your com­pany that help your cus­tomers feel some­thing? Can your sales­peo­ple hand po­ten­tial prospects some­thing tan­gi­ble that they can take away that has ev­i­dence of pre­vi­ous cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion?

Then there are the dig­i­tal con­sid­er­a­tions. When po­ten­tial cus­tomers check you out on­line, is your im­age con­sis­tent? Does your web­site need a tidy up? Have you made sure that your last blog en­try is re­cent (four year old con­tent is a very bad look!)

Sales are get­ting harder to come by, but proac­tive plan­ning of your on­line ac­tiv­ity and con­sis­tent mar­ket­ing mes­sag­ing will help. Give your sales­peo­ple ev­i­dence. Help them com­mu­ni­cate your or­gan­i­sa­tion’s so­cial proof. Help them give cus­tomers con­fi­dence through the art of (truth­ful and au­then­tic!) story telling.

SUP­PORT YOUR SALES­PEO­PLE TO SUC­CEED

Here are three tan­gi­ble ways you can help your sales­peo­ple right now. 1. Make sure your tes­ti­mo­ni­als,

re­fer­rals and cus­tomer case stud­ies are au­then­tic and ev­i­dent. 2. Arm them with creative mar­ket­ing pieces that they can leave with the cus­tomer that will con­tinue to mar­ket to them when the sales­per­son is no longer in the room. 3. Use new and old me­dia to tell sto­ries about the way your com­pany has helped peo­ple like them.

Mar­ket­ing and sales go hand in hand and, in this way, your work will work to re­in­force your cus­tomers’ de­ci­sion to en­gage – and lead to wins all round.

“Tan­gi­ble me­dia is one mar­ket­ing chan­nel that is mak­ing a come­back. Cus­tomers still en­joy be­ing able to ex­plore your com­pany through me­dia they can touch and feel.”

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