Piranha Marketing

Piranha Marketing

The July, 2012, edition of Success Magazine features an article entitled, “Is Selling Evil?” written by Joe Polish. Polish is a direct response marketing expert and the president of Piranha Marketing. I enjoyed the article (and supplemental audio interview), especially because of its focus on education-based marketing (see my post from December, 2011). Below is a summary of the seven key lessons.

1 – Definition of Sales. Sales and marketing are the lifeblood of business. No company can survive without selling. Selling is “getting someone intellectually engaged in a future result that is good for them and getting them to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result.” Remove the phrase “good for them” and sales has the potential to become abusive. Keep the phrase “good for them” and sales remains beneficial.

2 – Sales versus Marketing. Sales is what you do face-to-face or on the telephone. Marketing is what you do to get prospects face-to-face or on the telephone properly positioned. Properly positioned means that by the time prospects arrive, they are pre-disposed, pre-interested, pre-motivated and pre-qualified to do business with you. Effective marketing makes selling easy and ultimately unnecessary.

3 – Marketing is Psychology. Marketing is about attracting prospects to your product or service or repealing them from it (repealing them is part of the qualification process).  Prospects respond to emotional desires and stimuli. Prospects do not buy because they understand what you do. They buy from you because they feel understood. As a marketer, you want to enter a conversation that already exists in the prospect’s mind.

4 – Education-Based Marketing. You will attract more prospects by offering to teach something of value than by trying to sell something. Prospects want to make informed, intelligent decisions. When you educate them, power shifts from prospect to seller. That is, the seller becomes a consultant/teacher while setting the buying criteria in their favor. Prospects also do not have the negative association of feeling sold during the education process.

5 – Message-Market Match. Your message (what you say) must resonate with the prospects most likely to buy your product or service (how you say it). For example, you do not want to communicate the benefits of enterprise software to small businesses because the message and market do not match. The message must be specific to the buyer. The best message in the world is useless if you shout it at deaf ears.

6 – Customer Conversation System. Sales and marketing is not an event, it is a process.  There are three main stages of the process – before, during and after a sale – and the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. For example, if you generate leads from a marketing event, but do not follow-up on them in a timely manner, realizing a high conversion rate is unlikely. Identify what works and do more of it.

7 – Guarantee Your Work. Competency starts by putting a guarantee on your work. It makes the buying process less threatening. If a customer is unhappy, most companies will provide them with a partial or full refund.  However, most companies do not use this guarantee to their advantage in the sales and marketing process. Guarantees accelerate sales. While some customers will take advantage of them, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

All contents copyright © 2012, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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