Sales Tips from a Marketeer

It’s a Sunday morning for which the town where I’m visiting at present is renowned. Manchester, mid-Summer? It can only mean a fourth straight day of rain and midday temperatures shivering along at 14°. Luckily, my aim to get tucked into the cricket and hopefully watch England edge towards our first win over the Aussies at Lords since 1934 should distract from the awful weather.

Before a ball is bowled, I chose to flick through a blog that my Favourites reminds me to check-in on every couple of weeks. I believe it is the most read Marketing blog, making a name for it’s author, Seth Godin.

As a salesman, I enjoy the insights into how ‘new marketers’ think. On this visit, I was delighted to pick up two terrific solution-esque sales tips:

Make Video

When you next try and persuade someone to do something, don’t talk ’til you’re blue in the face about your vision’s merits. Instead, take your phone and video clips of third-parties saying why your idea is good. The context of his blog was when selling inside your own outfit, which is a brilliant tactic when you get customers talking about why an internal change is essential.

As a rep that’s spent a career diligently chasing down supporting quotes from around my prospects to present back to their top brass, this is a real winner. When you’re in front of key prospect decision makers, showing them film of their colleagues describing a problem and framing you as a solution is surely cutting-edgingly brilliant.

Ditch Graphs

And this one really banged at my open door. Why does everyone show graphs exactly as produced by spreadsheet ‘wizards’? A little time and imagination can produce way more memorable results. And the other great selling take-away was why show a graph anyway?

I’ve been forever telling reps to use less slides, less text and create more memorable images. The example of jettisoning pie-charts for showing several of the same picture, but crucially with them either black ‘n white or colour was a terrific tip. If, for instance, you’re showing a marketplace with a four-out-of-five split, and you want to target the fifth, then show the same picture (in his blog example, the same person) and have four of them monochrome, and the fifth in full colour glory to ram home your point. Excellent.

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