Many of the business owners we speak with are confused about the delineation between marketing and sales.
They understand the importance of selling and getting new clients, so have sales teams tasked with prospecting and closing new business.
What they often don’t realise is how good “marketing” can drastically reduce sales cycles and greatly improve their results. As such they often don’t have any dedicated marketing processes in place, which is a shame.
Think of marketing and sales as two sides of the same coin. Neither can exist in isolation and both are necessary if you’re to be successful.
There are only two ways of getting new clients.
- You go out and find them – Which involves your sales team going out and prospecting using any of the traditional methods of cold calling, networking, going door to door etc.
- They find you – By responding to advertisements, finding your website, and even referrals. All of which is “marketing”.
In this article we’ll concentrate on “credibility marketing”.
Good credibility marketing does two things.
It brings prospects to your door so your sales team can then get them over the threshold, as clients. And it supports the sales team by providing material which educates prospects as to your solutions, while building credibility via case studies and testimonials.
Put another way, marketing is like getting someone to want to come on a date. They look at you, your presentation and manner.
Sales is the process of moving from dating to a relationship. And during the “sales” process your prospective partner is still assessing your “marketing material”… They might be checking you out through mutual friends, what you put on social media, how you live etc.
In other words it takes a combined approach to consummate the sale and form a relationship.
Business is no different.
Your sales people need marketing to help bolster the sale. Consistent marketing puts your name out into the public domain so your prospects keep coming across it and become familiar with you.
And as familiarity and grows, so will your credibility. All of which makes it more likely prospects will think of you when they’re looking for the solutions you can provide.
So how do you increase your credibility?
- Create white papers based around how your products or services help your target market.
White papers position you as the expert by providing helpful advice, demonstrating your capabilities and highlighting the benefits of working with you.
Using your white papers and other articles you can win free exposure in the press, and automate more of your sales process than you ever thought possible.
Good white papers and articles can be used for years and will bring you paying clients, time and time again.
- Interview your clients and create case studies around how you solved their issues.
Prospects want proof that you can do what you say you can. Case studies prove that you can deliver and are an invaluable part of your credibility marketing arsenal.
- Get media exposure – Appear on TV, write articles and have them published in industry and consumer magazines.
One of our Financial Planning clients has built up major exposure through regular appearances on ABC TV, writing for industry magazines and being on various Government regulatory and advisory boards.
As such they get lots of referral business from these sources. People who are already predisposed to doing business with them.
Every one of these methods are “passive” marketing. The material is there to support your sales process by adding credibility to your offerings without you having to directly boast. It acts in the same hands off way that a third party endorsement does.
It’s one side of the coin. But a vital one none the less which can dramatically reduce the time your sales team spends educating and “convincing” prospects.
Next week we’ll go into the active side of marketing – and how to bring in new clients the easy way. So if you don’t like prospecting and “selling”, make sure you look out for it.
Till next time,
P.S. We can of course create white papers, case studies and other marketing material for you. It is a specialised area best left to a professional – so give me a call on (02) 9499-7958 if you’re interested.