Everyone needs leads. Everyone needs new business. Like it or not, we live an economic society. We can talk about being “mission driven” or not being “sales oriented.” However, if we have no customers, we’re not achieving our mission very well, are we?
A vital function of any group on Earth—nonprofit or commercial—is gaining interest and support. Whether we’re seeking clients, donors or just increased awareness, we need to move out into society, take on new ground, meet new people and spread ideas.
This is marketing. This is sales.
So often, though, these are dirty words to people. They somehow feel debased by them. Like maybe they’re bad. However, marketing and sales aren’t “necessary evils.” They aren’t something we have to drag ourselves through. Marketing and sales are noble endeavors, a higher calling, an opportunity to reach out and do good.
Yes, and sincerely. That’s the truth.
Marketing is the “hard work” of growth. It’s the real traction of expansion. It’s where the rubber meets the road. We can talk all day long about big plans and ideas, but if no one reaches out and actually talks to people, nothing happens does it? No ground is gained.
Marketing and sales are the “connection point” where you interface with the rest of the world—the only place where exchange and interaction occurs. They’re a gift that you’re giving to the world at large. Sounds crazy, but I’m not putting a spin on this. I’m not exaggerating it.
Here’s how it works:
Every day, people are looking for products or services to address certain needs. They have problems and are looking for solutions. Ironically, you have the solutions they’re looking for. They just don’t know you exist. Cut ‘em a break, eh? Let them know who you are. Let them know what you do. That’s about how simple it is.
If you believe in your mission, then obviously you believe people should support it. Otherwise, why would you be doing it yourself? If you think you do a good job for people—if you believe your work is valuable and important—then people probably need to hear about it.
There are so many incredible companies out there, so many amazing people. Humanity’s future depends on their success. The growth of our economies and cultures requires new ideas and better ways of doing things. If someone has a valuable product or service, it’s very true that they need to be heard—for the good of all.
Here are the basics of sales and marketing:
1. Deliver an incredible product or service.
There’s no easy way to say this. You just have to rock. You have to just kill it. You have to be smoking good at what you do.
If you’re not, then get this way. You can’t market something you don’t believe in yourself. This is where people’s resistance to sales and marketing comes from: having to sell things that aren’t awesome.
I won’t market something that isn’t a good product. Why? It’s dishonest. I’m harming the people I’m trying to convince to sign up.
So, step one of marketing is to get so good at what you do that you consistently deliver a phenomenal product or service. You want happy customers all around. You want amazing reviews. You want that blown-away look of shock when people realize what you just did for them and how awesome you are.
You need to feel it’s a real disservice to your prospects if they don’t buy from you, because you’re just that good.
Amazing quality, expertise and customer service are the best marketing there is.
2. Reach out to people and let them know about you.
Your prospects aren’t telepathic. You could have the best product known to man or beast at the best price in the world, yet people will walk right past your door completely oblivious—some of whom are desperately searching for what you offer!
It brings to mind the idea of someone madly ransacking around a room searching for something, while you sit there staring at him, holding exactly what he’s looking for in your pocket. Kind of thoughtless, really.
Marketing is compassionate. Marketing is helpful. Marketing is educational. Good marketing reaches out and lets people know that solutions exist to the problems they face, then guides them through the steps they need to take to solve those problems.
There are an infinity of prospects out there—an endless stream of people you’re going to love and who are going to love you. There is a world of potential friends and loyal customers who will think what you do is awesome. Not everyone is right for you, but so many ARE that it will seem absolutely endless to you.
Meet your friends. Reach out and tell them you exist. Market to them.
3. Get people to sign up.
People are indecisive when they’re looking for a new product or service. They’re afraid of making the wrong decision, paying the wrong price or buying something they don’t need.
This is why people have “sales resistance.” They’re afraid of making a decision they’ll regret. This applies to industry buyers, stay-at-home moms and professionals. It applies to all products and services.
People are afraid. They’re nervous. They’re trying to make a fairly important decision—one they’re likely not educated in. Think about buying a car. You’re not a car manufacturer. You’re not a mechanic. You don’t sell cars. Now, which one is best?
C’mon, no pressure, right? It’s only $25,000. You’ll only be stuck with your decision for many years to come. So which one is best? Sign on the dotted line and let’s get rolling.
This is why sales is such a problem. Most of the time people are being required to make important decisions about things they don’t know about. This doesn’t put them in the best frame of mind. They get emotional and worried. They’re concerned you’ll take advantage of them.
Sales is the process of helping these people get the service or product they need. It’s the process of putting them out of their misery and helping them move on with their life.
A good salesman is like a guide or a consultant. They educate prospects and point them to the product or service that best fits their needs. They help the person through the emotional indecision preventing them from buying. They help ensure the person makes the right decision even though they’re worried or unsure.
The prospect’s future happiness with his product or service lies in your hands. It’s actually quite a responsibility. Are they going to regret the decision? Or are they going to love the fact that you helped them through a tough time so they could get the thing that they now love?
Do right by people. Take responsibility for them. Steer them to the right product or service for their needs. Close the deal and get them to sign up. Help them move on with their life, happy they now get to be one of your customers.
Without sales and marketing the world is a lonely, dreary place—a drab, grey sameness of socialistic gruel. No spark. No dreams. No expansion.
Sales and marketing are connection. They’re having a team of vendors and allies. They’re mutual endeavor to build a better world with like-minded people.
Life is about helping others. You’re as valuable as you are of service. Let people know who you are. Meet new friends. Help them.
It’s a genuinely noble thing to do.