1) It’s buyers who are in charge
The time has passed of mystery in the sales process. “Selling” doesn’t happen anymore—it’s only buying. Since potential customers can find near perfect information online, salespeople must transform themselves the the role of “authority” to “consultant.” Product narratives have to tell stories, and businesses must have the agility to respond before an opportunity slips away.
2) Generating attention
Attention can be purchased (advertising). Attention from the media can be begged for (old school PR). Attention can be sought by bugging people one at a time (sales). Or attention can be earned through the creation of something interesting and valuable, then publishing it free online: a Facebook Live stream, a YouTube video, a Twitter feed, a blog, an infographic, or a research report.
3) Rather than interrupting and selling, educate and inform
You possess the power to elevate yourself to a position of importance on the web. Within the e-marketplace of ideas, salespeople who succeed educate and inform. Their expertise can be highlighted through videos, e-books, content-rich websites, blogs, social streams and images—rather than taking a page from the old sales playbook of hoarding information and dripping it out.
4) Sales and marketing convergence
I’m fascinated by the convergence of sales and marketing. Marketing is when an organization uses content to reach many buyers at once while sales is curating that same content to one buyer at a time.
5) The Real-Time World
Gone are the days when you could plan out your sales and marketing programs well in advance and release them on your timetable. It’s a real-time world now, and if you’re not engaged, then you’re on your way to marketplace irrelevance. What counts today is speed and agility.
6) Your products and services: nobody cares
Many people steeped in the tradition of product promotion naturally feel drawn to prattle on and on about their products and services. But I have news for you. Nobody cares (except you). Yes, you read that right. Get over it. What people do care about is themselves and solving problems. How do you do that?
7) No, you’re not innovative
If you say you are innovative, then you are not. The word “innovative” is among the most overused clichés in marketing today. Just by using “innovative” you signal the market that you are not innovative because you use the same words that everyone else does. You must avoid all gobbledygook. It’s cutting-edge, mission-critical, best-of-breed, second-to-none, state-of-the-art, next generation nonsense.
8) Take ownership of sales and marketing assets
Next time you stare at your monthly ad budget and shake your head in disgust, remember that you’re just renting your marketing. Consider putting some of that advertising resource into a content creation initiative that you can own. Original content gets found by Google and is shared on the networks like Facebook and LinkedIn resulting in sales leads and new business.
9) Bring back that humanity
A hundred years ago our great grandparents knew the people who sold them chickens, or nails, or cloth. Today, the Web allows humanity again after decades of faceless mass media advertising. We all want to do business with other humans. We want to know there’s a living, breathing person behind the communications. And we want reassurance that those humans on the other side understand and want to help us.
10) Take control of fear
We all face fear in our professional and personal lives. Fear of the strange, of the new, of the untested. We fear bucking the trend and going against the accepted. It’s a natural human response. To truly achieve greatness, you must act. That might mean you are a pioneer, a rebel, an instigator. You may need to challenge the status quo to make a difference in the world. Yes, you might fail. You could even fail spectacularly. But a fear of failure is not a reason to sit in front of the television instead of working on that project that’s burning away in your gut.
This piece is based on an original article by David Meerman Scott.
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