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Sales 101

January 2, 2013

I’m sitting at my desk and the phone rings. It’s an 800# calling in that I don’t recognize, but political badgering season is over, so I answer the call. The guy on the phone introduces himself as Brian from Delux and wants to let me know that “they are calling all their customers to let them know that they can also help them drive more business through websites and other marketing”.  (mind-you, I am a Delux customer because my bank had me purchase my checks through them – but that’s it)

Now, if you are reading this, its probably on my blog, on my website, and you’ve pretty quickly figured out that we are a marketing services firm who helps company get more business through their website and other marketing tactics.

Why didn’t Brian know this before he called me?  My website is easy to find.  If you Google my name or phone number, you’ll find it and me.  Seriously – is this what sales has come to? (this is almost, but not quite as bad, as the SEO companies that spam me wanting to know if I want to improve my listing – see my post on this one here)

If you are a sales exec, or a company owner with sales people, what are you having your team doing as far as any pre-call planning?  Yes, it takes time to do this.  But if he done a little research, Brian would have saved the 3 minutes of time calling me and could have researched his next call.  His efficiency (calls per hour) would go down, but his effectiveness (revenue per hour) would likely be going up.  What are you measuring?

And then there is Brian’s opening pitch – “I can help you drive more business through your website…”  There are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies that can “help” me do that – so they say.  How are you different? Right from the start, if you want to sell me something, I want insight.  How are you going to help me be different, better, more profitable?

Here’s my pitch.  Go read The Challenger Sale.  It is the best book on sales (and marketing) that I have read in 20 years. The smart companies that sell complex products (aka solutions) that adopt this methodology are going to be able to differentiate, build customer loyalty and make a big difference in their future success.  We live in a world that is over-run with sameness. The information and experience your company & staff posses can provide valuable insight to your customers and future customers and will lead to more business if you package it right.

Now if Brian had started the call with… Hi Dan, I was looking at your website and we’ve had experience working with marketing firms to help their clients… we know that these 3 issues always seem to crop up and we can help…   He and I may have still been talking.

If you really want to get to your difference, and want to understand how to get sales and marketing working together to use that difference to your advantage, give us a call.

Topics: Marketing Sales

Dan Kraus
Written by Dan Kraus

With more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing, and go-to-market strategies, Dan Kraus has developed a deep portfolio of experiences that he now uses to help small businesses profitably grow their businesses. As an entrepreneur, Dan understands the challenges of growing a business with limited capital and human resources. As a line of business manager in larger companies such as SAP America and Great Plains Software (now part of Microsoft), his experience launching new business ventures inside reputable organizations established his reputation as a creative and effective executive that could both plan and execute within corporate confines.

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