Too frequently a “new” sales practice comes out that’s the next answer for every sales woe (and you should buy the book and attend the seminar too).
With the “new” comes the exhortation that the “old” was a failure, or else why would you need the “new”?
But some of the old sales practices (used appropriately) are still valid, and required. For example, the sales process in the book “Never Cold Call Again” needs a few “cold calls” in the beginning to get started. That in spite of its clever title.
Starting a new opt-in, permission-based mailing? You’ll need help getting the attention of potential subscribers. An effective way is to use online ads or direct mailings offering promotions to subscribe. Yes, the new millennium still has a place for ads and direct mail.
Even though online commerce has changed many things, there’s still a need for the intelligent use of traditional sales and marketing.
The (really) new sales practice: MarSpecTing
Here’s my attempt at marrying the best of the old with the new: MarSpecTing. Making up a new word? Yes. Hypocritical? Yes. Clever title? No.
MarSpecTing is for individual sales people. It combines selling 2.0 with the relevant bits of old-timey selling. It’s evolutionary, not revolutionary. And as you may have guessed, MarSpecTing is a combination of:
As you’d expect, prospecting and networking are legacies from old-timey selling – though they’re flashier now because of the web (twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).
And as most facility service contractors don’t have marketing departments, that leaves marketing out in the cold. MarSpecTing fixes that by folding marketing into individual sales practices. Voila! Marketing-by-salesperson.
But marketing-by-salesperson is only a part of MarSpecTing, and with the other practices can help sales people achieve their individual sales goals.
WHAT: One-way messages out to the anonymous masses in your marketplace. Maybe you’ll reach a qualified prospect, maybe not. Align your expectations with reality: marketing never made a sale, it can lead to, but not finalize the deal.
- Raise prospects’ awareness
- Establish your credibility
- Earn the opportunity of sales speaks with prospects
- Direct mail & email blasts
- Digital newsletters
- Publishing articles, blogs, sharing subject matter expertise
- Trade shows & sponsorships
AVOID: Misplaced expectations & overspending (match investments with measurable goals)
WHAT: Seeking the first LIVE contact with a qualified prospect for a two-way conversation. Phone calls, web meetings and IM chat can allow you to more efficiently identify a prospect from a suspect. However, most facility service sales require a face-to-face at some point to get down to the nitty-gritty of data gathering.
- Luck out with the “right-place, right-time” prospect who is actively seeking what you provide right now!
- Begin developing long-term relationships
- Gather data on individual prospects
- Telemarketing for face-to-face appointments
- Smokestack for drop-ins (old-timey definition: drive around until you see a smoke stack, then drive in)
AVOID: Wasting prospects time by NOT knowing anything about them and/or NOT having a concise positioning statement (why would they spend their time with you?)
WHAT: Accessing qualified prospects through the people you know. It’s critical that you’ve defined your targets very well. Knowing who you want to talk to drives who you may know that knows them.
- More face-to-face warm meetings & returned calls
- Access higher ups within prospects’ org
- Understand the inner politics, situation & lay of land inside prospects’ firms
- Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, etc.)
- Professional networking groups
- Traditional networking events (Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, etc.)
AVOID: Falling into social media’s sink hole of squandered time & DON’T throw handfuls of business cards into the air (ala confetti) in the stadium when your home team scores a touchdown.
MarSpecTing is a comprehensive approach to individual selling. One that adds marketing to the salesperson’s traditional activities of prospecting and networking.
The new millennium ain’t like the old one, but that doesn’t mean leaving behind that which works. It only means being selective, intelligent and working diligently. But you’re doing that, right?
President, Revenue IQ