In my last article, Act Like a Salesperson and Sell Something Already, I quoted legendary consultant and author Peter Ducker:
Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.
Let’s talk about each of those.
Unlike many “natural-born salespeople,” I never had the childhood epiphany of, after selling newspaper subscriptions door-to-door, gloriously realizing that I loved to sell things. I never imagined myself in a position that would require selling, much less that I’d be blogging about it and teaching others how to do it.
I learned to sell out of necessity; because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to do what I truly loved—developing websites and helping clients market. Oh, and I wouldn’t make any money … did I mention that?
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.”
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.
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.
I love dark chocolate, and I can justify my indulgence because it’s the healthiest of all chocolates. Vegetables, on the other hand, are not nearly as sexy; and at the risk of offending any vegans out there, I’d go so far as to say that vegetables are downright boring. Yet, there’s no doubt that eating more of them would be better for me in the long run—albeit less exciting.
There are two different types of prospecting, and which you choose depends on how hungry you are.
When hunting, you eat what you kill. Hunter prospecting methods involve doing things that get you business immediately. The downside is, you’ll soon be hungry again and need to spend time hunting down new clients. As any jungle predator can tell you, your success rate will vary and there are times you may go hungry for a spell.
As some point in our pre-history, early Man figured out that planting crops to grow food was less dangerous than taking forays into the forest. Plus, having food around when you’re hungry is a nice perk. But farming takes time—crops don’t just spring up overnight.
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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.