Marketing, Sales, Social Media

Your Client Is Like Santa Claus…

I could not resist looking through the red and white lens for this week’s post.  There are a lot of analogies to be drawn here.  I’ll skip the most obvious (we should all be thankful to our clients for the gift of business they give us…) and get to some of the other comparisons:

…He sees you when your sleepin’… You may think you’re getting away with it when you are dogging it at work in a sales role.  You may even pull one over on your boss.  But, your clients will notice.  In a world where product differentiation provides only the slimmest advantage, responsiveness and even proactivity remain your key strategic differentiators.  If you slow down, your clients will sense it. There is a great book on this concept called “Selling the Invisible,” by Harry Beckwith.  Read it.

..He knows when you’re awake
…If you are a solution-maker for your client, you will get their attention.  If not, you’re toast. You need to work on these relationships in earnest.  What have you done for your client that is truly different or better than anyone else?  What has your firm done to stand out as leaders in your industry? What are you doing to show that you’re awake?

He knows if you’ve been bad or good…It used to be that your customer would need to try your product/service and let you succeed or fail a few times before learning if you were bad or good.  What’s changed?  The internet and  Social media are the new norm.  You don’t go car shopping without knowing the VIN#, invoice price, and full specifications of the car your buying, and your client doesn’t buy from you without knowing your offerings as well or better than you know your own.  They now also know what your other customers think about you– BEFORE they even contact you.  Better be on your toes!

I hope your year is winding down to a successful end this week.  The next 10 days are a good time to reflect on 2010 and prepare for an even better 2011. 

…So be good for goodness sake!  Happy Holidays

Marketing, Sales

Selling and Marketing Services vs. Products

While a great number of companies make and sell products, the past 20 years have seen a revolution in the professional services industry.  So there is a good chance that you are responsible for selling services vs. products.  However, many of  the sales techniques used today still echo a product sell.  A great book on the subject of the difference here is called “Selling the Invisible” by Harry Beckwith.  He’s written some other great books too, but this in my opinion is his best.  Here are a couple of my favorites from this book… 

“The first step in service marketing is your service.” – In other words, do your craft with excellence before thinking up a wiz bang marketing plan.

“One Thing Experts Don’t Know…” – In most professions,  you ARE NOT selling your competence.  Your client can’t evaluate you fully.  They are not the professional – you are.  That’s why they are seeking your help in the first place.  Your competence is assumed.  What you ARE selling is a relationship.  Do you pick up the phone and respond quickly?  Are you a good listener?  Am I important to you? Do you deliver to me with excellence? etc.