Marketing and sales have been separated for far too long. In fact things have gotten way out of hand and instead of an overlap where the two departments met in the middle, work together and exchanging ideas to support one another we have petty rivalry, misunderstandings and downright confusion.
Very similar to the problems many businesses are facing trying to connect with their market. It’s a serious problem for those big companies but an opportunity for the smarter SME who can evolve and develop smarter working practices.
Advertising And Marketing Is Selling In Words And Selling Is Advertising And Marketing
Marketing and advertising has only one purpose and that is to generate leads or make sales, and what generates leads and sales ? It’s the selling of ideas and concepts. So marketing is really selling in words, not some overly creative and colourful adventure.
If you were to look at your business and its marketing or advertising practices and you saw excessive use of graphics and pictures and few words which actually talk directly to the people in your market and their problems then you have a disconnect because you’re getting far too creative.
Its distracting you from the real purpose of what your marketing is and that is to sell or to obtain somebody’s buy-in to a mutually beneficial outcome, whether it’s a download, booking an event, fixing up a meeting or arranging for a review to actually buy something.
From a direct sales perspective you’re involved in establishing a good fit between you the supplier and your prospect or customer, which often means talking to enough people until you find a good match.
For most new business this usually involves you in cold call prospecting which is very labour intensive and increasingly time consuming. Your experiences may have already proven to you that as each day goes by sales barriers continue to rise against the tide of change and the effectiveness of old school “dialling for dollars” is diminishing rapidly.
You can improve your chances of success though by realising that marketing is selling, and blending together evolved sales strategies with accountable marketing rules for lead generation that don’t involve you in chasing buyers all of the time.
One of the best ways of learning how to do this is to study the companies that know how to sell in these mediums.
Where To Go And Learn The Formulas For Selling Remotely In Words
Many people will turn to friends for advice, but the problem with that is its advice based on another’s persons situation and beliefs, which may not fairly represent your own.
Just the other day a TV programme called Rogue Traders showed a man had employed a builder on a friends recommendation. After paying £40,000 upfront for work, the job was never completed and the house was left in an almost irreparable state.
The reason we choose our friends for advice is because of an emotional bond, not because it makes logical sense.
Words are the emotional components which bind people to each other and you to your prospects, customers and key audiences. It’s the reason that mainstream music always contains meaningful and relevant lyrics which emotionally connect with their fans, and can be listened to on the track or read from the album cover. One of the greatest examples of this was the Beatles.
A great example of effective selling using the spoken word is digital TV shopping channels like QVC.
They are product sales channels that operate 24/7/365 and buyers actually volunteer to watch them which is in direct opposition to most advertising on TV which just gets turned off.
Why is it that a TV channel which is just one long selling engagement has its audience volunteering to watch it, when most buyers watching a regular TV show instantly switch off or turn the sound down to eliminate the words when an advert that is trying to sell something appears ?
If you’ve ever watched one of these shopping channels you may have found yourself being drawn into the programme as the presenter talks to you like you were the only person in the room, even though you were not intending on actually buying anything.
Watch on and you’ll see them talk directly to you, making a personal connection. They get into the problem first, then involve you in a solution and later the product itself, finally concluding with an irresistible offer.
These items are commodity products which are being sold using the power of words, not image.
Don’t be fooled by the general nature of these products as it’s not an excuse for ignoring what they’re doing because you represent a cooler, sexier technological wonder and this is somehow inferior. Far from it, these are the building blocks of effective communication with words.
Most of the readers of this paper are probably already accomplished direct sellers, but if only they could get in front of enough of the right buyers it would make all the difference.
It’s true that you can use video to achieve a similar thing and connect with your audience, but not everybody wants to be, or is good in front of a camera which is where selling using the printed word comes into its own. You can even send it in the post, and yes, direct snail mail is still effective.
No matter what you look like or how you sound, writing gives you the very best opportunity to use your knowledge to show how you can help your customers, which is the only thing that counts.
By their very nature direct response marketing companies are organisations that sell using words in printed material. They are the people that have learned what it takes to slice through the mayhem in any marketplace and their skills are used by many of the world’s most successful companies.
Virgin’s founder Richard Branson started in the mail order record business and still uses direct response marketing style approaches as did Sir Alan Sugar, now famous for the UK Apprentice programme. They have employed formulaic approaches to selling and marketing based on rules which have withstood the test of time.
There are no parlour tricks or misleading gimmicks, just cold hard measureable results, which if you take the time to learn and master will bring you predictable outcomes.