“Do Nothing” Sales and Marketing

Sales and marketing is best done without selling or marketing.

Think of something that you do very well. Now ask yourself, “what am I thinking during those times?” Regardless of whether you are good at tennis, flower arranging or having a conversation, I bet that most of the time you do not consciously think about it or are even aware of doing it. So it is with the best sales and marketing which is natural and effortless.

Zen has a principle called doing nothing which follows the same approach. Doing nothing does not mean staying in bed but rather doing nothing to hinder the natural evolution of a given process or life itself. It is like a fine balancing act where your role is simply to guide the process as it unfolds without committing any forced or extraneous actions.

This may sound a bit abstract and so I have boiled it down to 3 concrete principles for you to apply to your everyday (non) sales and marketing:

1. Seek to Interact: In the first instance we seek to make contact, to engage, to befriend. What this means is being personable and helpful and knowledgeable about a specific problem your customer is facing. It does not mean launching into a pitch or a series of features and benefits or trumpeting how great you are

2. Seek to Understand: Ask questions. Build rapport. Ask more questions. Empathize. You can learn something from every conversation and you should genuinely enjoy the experience with each customer without trying to force a sale or “next step”. Learn by knowing that you do not know everything about this customer

3. Seek to Add Value: We are here to add value whether it be a simple friendly gesture, useful information or a solution to a problem through our product or service. As you get better about adding value in all the little ways you will get better at closing more business. It is not about you or your solution but about enhancing your customer’s life

Applying these principles to everything you do in sales and marketing will help you evolve as a natural seller and marketer without “selling” or “marketing”. If you think about it, these are the same principles you apply in making a friend, raising a child or attending a seminar to learn something. Why should it be any different in sales and marketing? How can it be any different in sales and marketing?

In sales and marketing the opposite of doing nothing very quickly becomes doing the wrong thing. Think about pushy salespeople or the presumptuous, condescending marketing we all hate. Think about blatantly self-serving “great offers” and the downright deceit practiced by sellers and marketers today. Remember the adage that no one like to be sold but that everyone likes to buy.

Do not push but create a pull instead!

Sales And Marketing Are Not Interchangeable Terms – To Achieve Success You Must Understand Both!

When I sit down to discuss software needs with business owners I often notice a blurring of the line between marketing and sales. Don’t get me wrong, sales and marketing are very closely related. But it is important for anyone running a company to understand how they differ and how to approach both when it comes to business automation.

My favorite summary is: ‘Marketing brings people to the door, sales gets them through the door’. Marketing is responsible for bringing people to the door of you business. So making them aware of your existence. Letting them know that you may have a solution to their problem or a product they desire. Sales comes into play once they have initiated contact with your organization. Sales take someone who has come to your door over the threshold. So your sales team should use their skills to turn vaguely interested leads into paying customers.

Another way to look at it, is by the level of interaction involved. For example marketing has less interaction and tends to be more one sided. You run an ad in the paper which someone reads. At this stage there is no back and forth between you and the consumer. The sales stage tends to be more interactive. Calls, emails or even letters may be exchanged between leads and your sales team. Or they may sit down to a face to face meeting where the customer asks questions about the product and the sales representative answers those questions (in the hopes of closing a sale).

I think much of the confusion comes from situations where one of the processes is short or missing completely. For example you may send out a sales letter which contains an order form. While a portion of people will call your office for more information, quite a few recipients will just go ahead and fill out the order form. In this example there was no interaction but they still ended up coming ‘through the door’. So is it sales or marketing?

When I pose this question to business owners I often get a wide variety of answers. But I would argue that it is marketing. Sometimes your marketing will have a message sufficiently powerful to induce a sale without any sales interaction.

So why is this distinction important? If you want to have a successful business you must achieve a balance between marketing and sales. If you have a strong marketing department coupled with a poor salesmanship you will get plenty of leads but struggle to turn them into paying customers. On the flip side of the coin a strong sales team is useless if they don’t have enough new leads coming through to keep them busy. By understanding marketing and sales as separate activities you can identify where your weaknesses are and take action to bring your organization back into alignment.

Sales And Marketing Jobs That Meet Your Needs

The average UK university graduate has a lot to ponder as they leave their university for the professional world. Graduates need to concern themselves with everyday issues like where they are living, how they will get around the city, and paying off bills and utilities. However, the biggest concern for graduates is finding the right job to fit personal and professional goals. Indeed, many graduates begin worrying about this in their final year of university studies and try their best to do a job search while in school. In fields like sales and marketing, recruiters come to university campuses to recruit upcoming graduates for trainee or entry level positions. However, graduates need to seriously consider how every job they apply to meets their overall needs as a professional.

There is the obvious concern by graduates about paying the rent, bills, and student loan debt. This means that financial incentives and benefits are important to every graduate entering sales or marketing positions. Some sales positions offer a lower base pay with the promise that the commissions made off of sales to individual customers will more than make up for the base pay. However, there are plenty of sales jobs and graduate training programs where an exceptional candidate can earn plenty of money right away and have an opportunity at weekly, monthly, and quarterly bonuses. These considerations are incredibly important and shouldn’t be taken lightly by sales and marketing professionals.

In addition to financial concerns, a candidate for a sales or marketing position needs to ask themselves if they can see a particular job as part of their future. Marketing professionals with youth-oriented companies, like cell phone providers or retailers, may not feel that they can stay updated with the youth trends throughout their entire career. Sales people may want to take a job that allows them to move from the field into the office place as they progress throughout their career. In essence, flexibility and advancement options are critical for sales and marketing jobs.

Finally, sales and marketing professionals need to ask themselves if the product that a potential employer offers is something they can stand behind. A marketing graduate who does not like a particular brand of clothing may not want to enter that particular field. A sales graduate who has used a particular cell phone and cannot stand behind it should not be selling it. This is an important consideration as a graduate’s professional life is concerned with getting people to use these products.