The Tao of Sales And Marketing: The Only Reason Anybody Buys Anything

Here’s the #1 secret to sales and marketing: No matter what veneer we put on it, there is only one reason in the whole world that anybody buys anything. Master that concept and rule the world. I’m working on it – join me.

So here it is: the only reason that anybody buys anything is to feel relatively good. It sounds almost too simple right? Read on…

I call this the Tao of sales and marketing because, like the Taoist model of the universe, first there is nothing, then the one thing, then two things, then 10,000 things. The one thing in my model is the idea of wanting to feel relatively good.

Wanting to feel relatively good gives rise to two things – seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. From those two impulses we get our 10,000 made-up reasons for buying stuff.

Every time I talk about this, I make some people uncomfortable. Some like to believe that all their purchases are rational. Of course they are frequently the ones buying cars and houses they can’t afford. People are great at rationalizing everything. Rationalizing is another thing we do to make ourselves feel good.

Brain scan research shows us that every single decision we make starts out in the emotional center of the brain. Even very simple decisions start as a feeling. Then, we rationalize by moving through the logical centers of the brain. Honestly, if people made decisions rationally would we have wars, drug abuse, or karaoke? Probably not.

My wife and I bought a house right after we got married. The price was good, in a good neighborhood, and I knew that the equity would grow fast. But the real reasons we bought were more emotional. It made us feel like we were really married to own a house. I feel better paying mortgage than paying rent. I have a greater sense of ownership of my home than I ever did with an apartment. It may have made logical sense to buy the house, but logic is not enough to get somebody to buy.

A critical part of the Tao of sales and marketing is the phrase, “relatively good”. You might just say, “better”. We can’t always make somebody feel truly good. However we might be able to take away some of their emotional pain. This is a gigantic motivator for people. Here’s a Marketing Comet Principle: The cure to any ill will always outsell the prevention.

How much could you get for a carton of orange juice on a ship of people afflicted with scurvy? Probably you could become the richest person on the ship. However, I don’t think you’re going to increase the perceived value of orange juice at your grocery store by slapping up a sign that reads, “prevent scurvy!” Not too many people in America feel the pains of scurvy and would be willing to give up their life savings to get a carton of juice.

How to use this in your sales or marketing efforts:

There are many ways to use this principle, here are a few:

1. Make people happy when they do business with you.

2. Find out what people’s most painful problem is and offer to solve it.

3. Persuade with emotion, and give them logic to rationalize with

4. Pay attention to the emotional impact of your marketing materials

5. Communicate with people in ways that make them more comfortable

Sales and marketing are ultimately about engineering emotion and state of mind – getting people emotionally ready to buy.

J D Moore – Marketing Comet

Copyright 2005 Marketing Comet

How to Get Sales and Marketing Turnarounds Turned Around

When a company gets into trouble (which seems to be happening quite a bit these days), owners and investors often call in a turnaround team.

Typically, turnaround teams do two things. First, they identify everything that the company is spending money on . . . and that is not working. Then, they stop spending money on those things. Second, they get the company’s sales and marketing process turned around. Doing that is an extremely high priority because sales and marketing is where cash flow and profits come from. Without cash flow and profits nothing gets turned around.

Doing the first thing, cutting budgets, is relatively easy. Doing the second thing (getting sales and marketing turned around) can be very, very difficult. Here’s why . . .

As companies deteriorate, budgets are cut. And as budgets are cut, dissatisfied customers start to leave (eventually in droves). As disgruntled customers desert the company some share their displeasure with other people, frequently on websites visited by millions. Finally, the company’s reputation is damaged to the point that it simply cannot be turned around.

For a variety of reasons, few turnaround business leaders seem to accept the fact that it is frequently not cost-effective to turn around a damaged brand. Failing to recognize that fact, those leaders create an expectation among their sales and marketing team that their job is breathing new life into the old brand. When that happens, the potential to effect a sales and marketing turnaround is doomed.

To get sales and marketing turnarounds turned around, leaders need to 1) build and empower a cross-functional sales and marketing team; and then 2) get back to sales and marketing basics.

A cross-functional sales and marketing team needs to include representatives from all three of the business process “dots” that Promise, Produce and Deliver what customers want (and will pay for). The sales and marketing people on the team will represent only one-third of those business process dots. The production and delivery people will represent the other two-thirds.

Going back to basics will require the team to rethink who customers are and who they could be. They will need to identify the wishes, hopes and dreams of those customers and potential customers that the company may fulfill. And then they will need to guide the company in promising, producing and delivering fulfillment of those wishes, hopes and dreams (within the boundaries of financial reality).

Taking this zero-based, cross-functional approach a turnaround sales and marketing team can get sales and profits turned around (and often very quickly).

Sales And Marketing Specialists In The Publishing Field

In the United Kingdom, one of the most reliable job markets for new professionals is in publishing. This reliability comes not from a wide range of jobs, as many publishing houses are small operations with only a few vacancies available. However, there is always a need for publishing services, whether it is the promotion of novels or the creation of electronic documents for corporations. In this way, sales and marketing professionals who are looking for an interesting job can find them in the publishing field.

Sales and marketing professionals, ranging from university graduates to experienced hands, need to realise that publishing covers a broad range of needs. There are small publishing houses which focus on a specific genre of book, ranging from history texts to children’s novels. As well, there are major publishing firms which put out magazines, non-fiction texts, and publishing software. Finally, there are corporate publishing firms which contract with major companies to publish reports and books for promotional purposes.

In all of these cases, sales and marketing professionals are integral to a firm’s success. Sales professionals are needed in the publishing sector in order to sell products and services to the broadest range of consumers possible. Marketing professionals work to promote publishing efforts in a variety of ways, including author’s visits to bookstores and online marketing efforts on literary sites. For both types of professionals, there is a lot of pressure to get the job done.

Sales professionals in the three types of publishing firms face the challenge of outselling their colleagues and competitors with other firms. Specialised firms often face less competition, by virtue of their narrow focus. However, sales professionals have to contend with a fickle consumer market for their narrowly focused product. In larger firms, sales people need to be intimately aware of their books and other offerings. As well, they need to be aware of the competition in order to provide selling points that set a publishing firm apart.

Marketing professionals face similar challenges as their sales brethren. Marketing specialists with specialised firms need to create clever marketing campaigns to convince consumers that their product is invaluable. As well, marketing professionals need to deal with competing campaigns in the publishing industry. Finally, marketers also need to combine their creativity, their marketing skills, and the corporate requirements for individual publishing projects. In the end, sales and marketing professionals need to find ways to distinguish themselves and their product in order to succeed.