Sales and marketing is all abou
Power in sales and marketing – and in everything else – is about doing less to achieve more. The question of power permeates your relationship with your customer and dictates how much you do, what information you provide, your overall posture and how you handle each step of the sales and marketing process.
Here are five basic rules in how to develop and utilize power in all of your sales and marketing efforts.
- Do Less
Rule #1 in sales and marketing is to do less. Talk less, listen more. Provide less information and dole out only what is completely necessary. Maintain interest by not showing all your cards at once. If in doubt, wait and see what happens.
The problem with most sales and marketing professionals is that they try too hard. They spend their time trying to please, trying to provide for, trying to accommodate each and every conceivable whim of the customer. Remember that the most important word in business after “you” is “no”.
- Pull, Don’t Push
Remember that customers are like your shadow. If you run after them they will run away from you. Conversely, if you step back customers will come after you. If your customers have a genuine need that you can fulfill then they will stay engaged and will not disappear.
By holding back you demonstrate that you are not desperate and not in need of any particular customer. This approach is sometimes called having posture. It is also similar to when you tell customers that what they are looking for may not be available. Sit back and wait for them.
- Be Gentle, Yet Firm
Power is all about self respect. What this means is that while you are humble and accommodating and while you treat every customer like you treat your best friend this does not mean becoming a “yes” person. Real friends can disagree.
Hold customers accountable to what they say. Don’t let them waste your time and money through repeated “no shows”. Remember that there are always other customers and that your dignity and self worth as a sales and marketing professional is your most prized asset and is irreplaceable.
- Go Slow
Once you have engaged a customer there is an unfortunate tendency in sales and marketing to overwhelm them with information. This is even more acute when a sales or marketing professional discerns that the customer is a good fit and has a genuine need for your product.
Remember that customers are not at the same level as you in terms of what they know. They have no idea of the amazing benefits of your product and service and need time to assimilate the knowledge you dole out slowly but surely. Go at their pace and do not rush them.
If there is something that needs saying, say it. If there is something that needs doing, do it. At a certain point in the transaction with your customer your intuition will tell you it is time to move forward and close the next step in the process. Use your built up power to guide the customer onwards.
Power in sales and marketing is all about how you feel. You must wait until the time is ripe before moving forward through successive stages of the sales and marketing cycle. Power can be likened to a dam. As long as you are professional and play your cards right the dam will fill and burst.
By John Barney