In my latest article on SitePoint, Transactional vs. Consultative Selling: Knowing the Difference Makes All the Difference, I compared the transactional sale with a consultative one. In Harvard Business School professor Ranjay Gulati’s new book, he explores the fallacy that media companies are “consultative and customer focused.” According to the article, salespeople are saying “I’ll talk about your needs so long as it leads to you only buying my portfolio of solutions …” but that they are “communicating with customers through a product lens (with a pre-determined end in mind).” That’s a problem.
In my last article, I talked about five reasons why you lose a sale. Each of those can be avoided by asking a few simple questions. But these last three reasons are a bit more complex. For starters, what do you do if the prospect refuses to answer your questions?
They say there are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened. If you’ve ever lost a big sale and wondered, “What happened?” then, in no particular order, here are the top five reasons why.
Once you decided to freelance or start a web business, you gained a new job description: Business Owner. So what’s the purpose of this enterprise you’ve undertaken? Most people think it’s “to make money”—but that’s not a purpose, it’s a result. According to the renowned Peter Drucker, the purpose of business is “to create a customer.”
It’s popular to bash Yellow Pages these days. After all, everyone uses the Internet now, right? Yet, a 2010 study conducted by CRM Associates, shows that both usage and calls volumes are increasing to the 2008 level, suggesting that the decline in Yellow Page usage over the past six years was more economy than Internet-driven.
Another study shows that the average consumer uses both Yellow Pages and the Internet when making a purchase decision. A year-long study of 8,000 adults conducted by marketing research firm Burke, Inc. found that 74 percent used print Yellow Pages over the course of the year to find a local business—just slightly behind the 76 percent who used a search engine. So it’s no longer a question of Internet or print. Smart marketers know there is no single advertising method that will bring in all the business. Effective marketing is more like a team than a shotgun.
Curious how Yellow Page consumers convert into leads and sales? Here’s an infographic to show you:
Despite the fact that more people are buying ebooks online than their print counterparts, James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, one of the U.K’s leading book chains, maintains that “the computer screen is a terrible environment in which to select books.” He says “a physical bookshop in which you browse, see, hold, touch and feel books is the environment you want.”
As business people and marketers, we can’t afford to ignore technological advances or neglect to innovate. Yet, those most threatened by disruptive technologies seem quickest to disparage it. Waterstones’ director is in good company—notables such as Charlie Chaplin and Darryl Zanuck made similar statements. Here’s an infographic of some Very Bad Future Predictions:
When I was 14 years old, when the Internet was still ARPANET and “Amazon” was a female warrior from Greek mythology, I discovered science fiction. Satisfying my craving for new and exciting stories each week meant riding my bike to the nearest bookstore, which was just over three miles away, but felt more like ten. Soon, however, the ache in my legs (and posterior) began to pale in comparison to the joy of getting lost in a bookstore. An hour or more of searching the shelves for “just the right book” was all part of the experience, and the discovery was at least as satisfying as devouring the book once I got home.
With all the hype surrounding QR Codes, it begs the question: Is anyone really using these? If the amount of code reader app downloads are any indication, here are some raw numbers:
Marketing—especially web marketing—is much like building a house, because a successful outcome depends on many disciplines, much more than a single person possesses. And this is becoming even truer as web marketing fragments and becomes more social and more mobile.
Depending on who’s talking, the hottest item that should be a top marketing priority for businesses in 2012 is … [drumroll, please]
Location-based services (LBS) marketing
Did I miss anything?
When I quit my web business in 2005, none of these existed. What will the next five or so years bring? Like traditional advertising, web marketing is becoming more and more fragmented, and businesses are becoming increasingly selective about how they spend their marketing dollars. What’s more, many small business owners regard advertising and marketing as an expensive, rather than an investment in their business. With this mindset, it’s difficult to convince them that “the next big thing” you’re proposing isn’t just another expense that’s going to take more money out of their pocket.
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Thanks for visiting. I’m a Marketing Evangelist, Blogger and Sales Trainer.
I get excited about geek stuff. But I’m also passionate about helping people and companies reach their fullest potential and becoming wildly successful.
That’s why I love helping businesses figure out how to market (especially web marketing) and why I train sales people to be the best they can be at what they do.