Permission-Based Selling to ‘Martechers’ in 2015
Selling to marketers in the 21st century isn’t easy. I know that because I’m a marketer and let’s face it, we are busy people, we’re hard to reach, and we don’t traditionally like to be sold to…although we do love to buy things, which is an excellent caveat. I recently signed a pretty sizeable contract for a marketing software and I realized something at the end: No where, in the entire sales process, did I ever feel like I was being sold a product. Rather, I felt like I was going to a doctor’s appointment for chronic pain and having the doctor check out my symptoms and prescribe something that will FIX me. I genuinely felt like I was being taken care of, and most of that can be attributed to the sales representative that was working with me.
This salesperson not only won my business but he gained my trust and made me confident that he could help me and my organization. Here are the Top 5 things he did that every sales person should mimic:
- Always be honest. Personally, honesty is my #1 policy in life so this one had to come first for me. Just tell the truth, be honest and be transparent. I promise that it will get you so much further as a sales rep to be upfront about everything. Not every product will be a perfect solution for every company and the salesperson should know this and call it when they see it. The person on the other end of the phone will appreciate your honesty more than you know, because the alternative is dragging them down the funnel further and further only for the marketer to find out this isn’t the greatest fit for his/her organization and they have just wasted their time and attention – two things marketers are very touchy about.
- Exude confidence. I’m not signing any contract or giving any money to someone who sounds scared or timid. Depending on the product there could be a lot of money at stake, or worse proprietary information. If you genuinely believe that your product or solution will help me and my organization, then act like it. A sales rep with no confidence is, in a way, a red flag – should I be worried about something? Did I miss something? — When selling to a marketer, the key to closing is TRUST. Not many marketers will buy something from someone they don’t trust…and confidence coupled with honesty begets trust.
- Get permission every step of the process. One thing I personally love is when a sales rep asks for permission- permission to call me, permission to move on to the next phase in the cycle, permission to include someone else on the call, etc. When you ask me if I have time for a 15-minute demo and you are honest in telling me what we are going to talk about, there is a MUCH better chance that I’ll take your call and listen, because you have shown that you respect my time. The person on the other end of the phone should never have to wonder what the sales rep going to throw at them next; the sales rep should tell them what’s next and ask permission to move forward. Map out your process to the marketer so there is no confusion. By asking permission and being honest, you’ve respected the marketer’s time, and we really appreciate that J
- Map out your process and be open with it. You know what steps need to be taken and what information the prospect needs in order to make a decision, the marketer does not. We have no idea what is coming next and even if we are a hot lead and very interested in buying, we still don’t know what exact steps need to be taken in order to get what we need, so…. just tell us. The more informed we are about your product and the sales cycle, the more likely we are to buy. Don’t mislead your prospects, do just the opposite – lead them to a solution to their problems. Again, honesty and transparency beget trust.
- Build a Relationship. As a sales rep selling to marketers, your job is not to close a deal, your job is to help the marketer be as successful as possible. If you want that for your prospects, you will in turn, receive just that – you’ll be successful. If you genuinely want to help me, the relationship building will probably happen naturally. Why? Because if you genuinely show that you want to help and you are confident and honest, it makes me feel comfortable and it makes me trust the rep. Trust is key, and you don’t build it by outwardly trying to “close a deal”.
Want to know the best part about possessing all of the above characteristics? Aside from closing more deals (aka providing a solution for a marketer in need), you have created a customer advocate, someone who will scream your brand from the rooftops. All because you helped them in a way not many sales reps have before.