How a Dead Fly Can Make Your Sales and Marketing Efforts Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb

I hope this doesn’t gross you out.

My goal is NOT to make you squirm in your seat or be paranoid whenever you go out to eat. It’s to illustrate a very powerful sales and marketing lesson any one of us can learn (and profit) from.

Anyway, here’s the story:

Couple days ago the Mrs. and I tried a new restaurant in town. We’d read a rave review about it in the local paper. And, since it is still new, we figured it was time to check out their cheeseburgers.

So we get home, open the carton and get ready to dig in.

Except… I see a black, scraggly looking thing next to my burger that turned out to be a dead (deep fried) fly.

Ugh.

Thank God I look before I eat, eh?

So my wife calls the place up and tells them what happened. I mean, there could be some punk working there who did it on purpose for all we knew. And we figured the owner would want to know either way.

The guy’s response?

“Hmm. That’s a first.”

No wanting to fix it. No trying to do something to keep our business (or keep us from telling other people about the fly). No caring whatsoever.

Frankly, his level of concern was as dead as the fly on my plate.

And yet… we would have probably given his “bistro” a second chance (in a few months) and probably told everyone how great the place is (thereby sending it more business) if they’d simply tried to make things cool.

Anyway, here’s the point:

If you want to increase your sales, get lots of repeat customers and have word of mouth marketing (one of the best kind there is) kicking in… all you have to do is CARE about your customers.

Treat them with some respect.

And, if something does go wrong, make it right.

It usually doesn’t take that much effort.

But when you have super happy customers roaming the streets practically proselytizing on your behalf… spreading the good news about how wonderful your business is… and even selling people on buying your stuff… success is a cake walk.

In fact, you almost can’t fail.

Top 5 Tips to Increase the Effectiveness of the Most Important Sales and Marketing Tool

If you were asked to name the one tool to increase sales beyond all other tools, what would you answer:

  • Website?
  • Brochure?
  • Signage?
  • Cell phone?
  • Autoresponder?
  • Computer?
  • Telephone?

Yes, these are all important marketing and sales tools, but are not the most valuable one. Right now open your briefcase or your wallet and take out your professional business card. Here is the most important sales tool that you will ever have.

To increase the effectiveness of this combined sales and marketing tool in your ongoing quest to increase sales, these 5 ways will help you do just that.

#1 – Review for Current and Correct Content All information listed should be 100% current including:

  • Contact name
  • Cell phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Physical location (optional)

If you change information at any time, immediately visit the local print to go online to revise the content and reorder. Sales Coaching Tip: Scribbling in your new cell phone number or email address only demonstrate how unprofessional you and your business really are.

#2 – Use Color to Maximize the Message Color plays an important part in communication. Red, yellow and orange are considered hot colors and fire up the emotions. The colors of blue, green and purple are emotionally cooler.

#3 – Keep Graphics Simple The graphics within your professional business card include the logo as well as the fonts. If your design is too busy, the human eye wanders and does not retain what has been seen. The size of the font script and the actual style of font are equally important. You may be quite happy with what you see, but this card is not for you but for your potential customers (a.k.a. prospects) to centers of influence.

#4 – Use Both Sides One side of your professional business card is for the information listed in the first way. The other side is for your Call to Action. Do not make the mistake of leaving one side blank or for your fancy logo. By having a call to action, you can strike s speak when the iron is hot instead of waiting for the next opportunity which may not ever come.

#5 – Carry at All Times This tip is probably the most effective one. Every week I meet one sales professional, small business owner or even C-Level executive who does not have a professional business card on her or him. This is not only a missed opportunity for the business, but does not speak well about the person carrying the card. Placement of these opportunity makers in cars, briefcases, wallets, purses, jackets and suit coats only increases the benefits to the business professional.

By embracing these 5 tips, you can increase sales. Remember, your professional business card is your first impression and one that always must be 150% positive.

Are Your Sales And Marketing Strategies Aligned?

“Why would you even pose that question Dave? Of course our sales strategy is aligned with our marketing strategy!” Then immediately following this statement, we start talking about the “silo’s.” Or we talk about lead quality, or it’s something else. All the signs that sales and marketing may be aligned-but not in sync. But there are changes that put even more stress in the already difficult task of aligning sales and marketing.

Buying is changing so quickly that it stresses all our strategies-both sales and marketing. Keeping the strategies in alignment is a challenge. We used to think of marketing and sales as sequential-marketing focused on the front end, sales focused on closing the deal. All those rules are changing. Better informed customers force us to change our sales and marketing strategies. Marketing and sales now have to work more closely through the entire customer engagement process.

In the new world of buying, sales must get engaged earlier than traditionally. Sales must engage customers in thinking about their businesses differently, getting them to imagine new possibilities. The customer may not have a defined need, but sales can help the customer think of new ways to grow. Marketing has to be involved in that process, working hand in hand with sales-with new materials to support sales in these discussions with customers. Marketing must continue nurturing the customer as they consider these new opportunities.

Marketing will be involved longer in the process. It’s no longer “provide the lead to sales, now it’s their responsibility.” Marketing must provide the tools to help sales better qualify and quantify the customer’s needs and requirements. Sales must have tools to help develop, communicate, and deliver differentiated value. Things like questioning guides, interview guides, justification guides-along with case studies and other materials.

In the future, marketing and sales will look like a basketball team. There will be defined roles and “plays,” but the organizations will need to be nimble in responding to changing situations-both in the markets and in individual sales situations.

Are your sales and marketing strategies aligned. Can your sales and marketing teams work closely together, adapting rapidly to changes from markets, competition, and customers? Sales and marketing alignment is always difficult, but never more important!