Marketing automation is a very powerful tool. It can generate leads for your business, it can warm the doorknob for your salespeople, and it can help you close more deals. But in the end, marketing automation is not a stand alone tool. In other words, you can’t just set it and forget it. You have to help things along. With that in mind, here are 5 traditional sales techniques to keep in mind when your marketing automation campaign starts delivering the leads you’re looking for.
Don’t start by talking about your company, your product, or your services
I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s one of the most powerful techniques you can use. After all, what is it that most people are interested in? Are they most interested in you? Absolutely not. They’re most interested in themselves. So, with that in mind, you should talk about their company and their needs, not about your company or your needs.
Ultimately, your goal is to discover your prospect’s pain point so that you can show that your product or service is a good solution for them. Which leads us to our next tip.
Don’t assume that the prospect knows what the actual problem is
In many cases, your prospect will talk about the symptom they have rather than the real problem. Here’s a case in point. A friend of mine who is a consultant was pulled in to solve a productivity problem at a manufacturing plant. “Our assembly line needs to run faster in order to get more product out the door, but we can’t afford to upgrade the machinery, so we’re stuck in a bind,” they said.
But it turned out the problem wasn’t with the machinery, it was with a fax machine which was located 200 yards from the guy who processed the orders. Walking the 200 yards every hour to get the orders slowed production down significantly.
$50 and a new fax machine later, the company increased efficiencies by 5% which contributed $7.5 million to their bottom line.
Which brings us back to the main point – don’t assume that what the prospect thinks is the problem is the actual problem.
Practice the 70/30 rule
Many people who are in sales have that job because they’re very friendly. Friendly often translates into being talkative, but talking too much can be a hindrance if you’re a sales person. When you talk too much, you can come across as someone who is nervous or insecure about what it is you’re selling.
A general rule of thumb is to do about 30% of the talking while your prospect does about 70%. That ratio allows you to listen for their pain points and then to respond to what it is that they need (not what you need).
Use your 30% wisely
If you’re going to practice the 70/30 rule, you’re going to have to use your 30% wisely. After all, you won’t have much time to speak if your prospect is doing most of the talking.
What should you do with your 30% of the time? Don’t do a sales pitch. Instead, ask questions. In other words, do what your doctor does when you go in for an exam – he or she will ask a series of questions that helps them zero-in on what your actual health problem is. When you ask questions of your prospect, you’re zeroing-in on what their problem is, which will ultimately lead you to a solution (that you happen to be selling at a very reasonable price, by the way).
Recognize that person-to-person marketing is your most powerful tool
In the end, people buy from people they like. No amount of slick brochures or fancy internet videos will sell your product or service if people don’t feel warm and comfortable around you.
How can you make people feel warm and comfortable? As mentioned already, talk about them. Take an interest in their desires and needs. Find commonalities with them. And be genuine – most people can sniff out when someone is turning on the charm just to close a deal, so be sure to take a genuine interest in your prospect.
A final tip
Here’s a bonus tip for you – be polite to other salespeople. When they email you or call you, they’re just trying to make a living and feed their family, so be respectful to them. After all, what goes around comes around – if you’re nice to other people, then other people will be nice to you.