Renee Walker started her presentation by telling us that everything we were about to hear was true and if we executed everything, success was a given.
Surprise! It is about them, not about us.
When we are marketing and selling to potential customers they are doing a risk assessment on us, we need to meet them where they are, not where we want them to be. The audition is long over, we need to be performance ready and to be viewed as a potential strategic partner.
Marketing and sales are not synonymous. Marketing creates a demand for a product. Sales is the exchange of money for a product and is the corner stone of a thriving business. It happens when the difference between the real and desired state is recognized. In order to resolve that difference, solutions need to be found and evaluated. The highest value solution that satisfies need is purchased, money exchange occurs and is subsequently followed by the purchase reevaluation. Does this really meet customer expectation?
Buying it not a one man show it happens through multiple layers; no one individual makes the decision and one size will not fit all in terms of marketing collateral or sales pitch. Vendors need to be specific to each customer, in each layer, by knowing them. Profile them by finding out what is important to them, what publications are they reading, what innovations are in their field, and what does success look like for them? Read their annual reports.
Renee says, “ditch the elevator speech”. This is rarely delivered clearly or with confidence and thus will sabotage the first impression of us and our company. We need to appear highly polished, professional and trustworthy to a potential client, through how we present ourselves, our collateral and our website. Our visual identity and value through provision is key from the first meeting. How do we present? Is our website offering commercial value? Does it highlight what we do or what the customer cares about and wants? What impressions does our website give to a potential customer, particularly large organizations? We have 2/10 of a second for a visitor to form an opinion and 2.6 seconds for them to solidify their opinion and stay or leave the site. The website should provide a short menu, be intuitive to the customer, and have an excellent search option, vibrant visuals with headlines and subtexts. Is our collateral pertinent enough to our customer that it resonates, or is it all about us in isolation? When we are selling to them we need to start with the outcomes we can give them. An illustration of how our products and services will make our potential customer look good. Features come later.
A frequently asked question is “should we hunt or farm for our sales?” Neither is exclusive.
If we focus on increasing the retention of our current customers by as little as 5% we will increase our profits by between 25% and 95%. (Marketing Metrics) It is easier to keep those we have than find new ones and less of an investment.
It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one (Bain & Company)
80% of our company’s future revenue will come from 20% of our existing customers (Gartner Group)
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% (Marketing Metrics)
60% of customers are through the sales process prior to engaging a sales rep. the internet means people have access to so much more information earlier in the buying cycle. Yet 60% of sales engagements end in no decision.
I acknowledge there are many statistics and facts to digest in this blog. However, let’s try to walk in the shoes of our customers by considering our own personal purchases. Potential purchases are often driven by very rational reasons; however the final sale is not driven by features and price. We buy from a person who provides the personal touch and seeks to understand who we are and what we need. People we like and trust. Which is supported by the following two statistics.
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated –McKinsey.
- 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back –1Financial Training services.
The impression we make with our customers will depend on the impression we give. We have long standing “happy” customers. These statistics highlight the benefit of continuing to serve those “happy” customers well. Let’s not be afraid to build on what we have, they will not be afraid to come back to us, they already know, like and trust us.
The services netlogx provide are quality, our current customers know that. Let’s ensure potential clients get the chance to experience that quality, through our people, website and collateral and by delivering personalized, unmatched customer service when they are looking to buy from us.