4 things that marketing and sales rely on
Beginning entrepreneurs are usually passionate, committed, eager to take action and stand up for their beliefs. However, for many of them, sales and marketing are aspects that cause them difficulties. If you are one of these budding entrepreneurs preparing to start your own business, I invite you to read tips that are sure to make the process easier.
Choose your customers wisely
The old saying goes 'choose your friends wisely,' and the same applies to customers. Such advice seems counterintuitive and logical thinking. Shouldn't we try to get as many customers as possible? Can a new entrepreneur in particular be picky? Won't being picky lead to customers taking revenge and ruining your business? The truth is that your business will not be able to satisfy everyone's requirements so it should not try to do so. Instead of trying to offer everything for everyone, spend some time thinking about who should be your target audience.
However, one has to be very careful when creating a company's marketing message. As a negative example, the brand Abercrombie&Fitch positioned its clothes as intended for the beautiful and young. What's more, its size range did not include clothing designed for more overweight women. Following its marketing path, the company paid the stars of the New Jersey Crew (MTV's show, the American equivalent of Warsaw Shore) to NOT show up on TV in their clothes because they weren't 'cool' enough. Such a marketing message ultimately outraged Americans. A campaign organized by Greg Karber, who bought A&F branded clothes from a second-hand store and distributed them to homeless people in Los Angeles, was widely echoed. As a result, the American company's sales fell dramatically. In the third quarter of 2013, sales fell by 12%, and losses exceeded $15 million. This compares with a profit of $84 million in the same period in 2012.
This example shows that you can't be arrogant in your choice of customers, and you certainly can't spread the word that our products are only for 'cool' people.
Diversify the ways in which inquiries are obtained
The first rule of investing is 'don't put all your eggs in one basket'. However, many entrepreneurs make this mistake by over-investing money in certain marketing activities. If you spend all your time doing cold calls, and you don't have a decent website and don't contribute on Social Media you may miss the chance to get valuable inquiries. The reverse is also wrong, focusing on Social Media and the website and not attempting, for example, cold calli will also not have the desired effect.
Your approach must be balanced. Divide your resources, time, money to create the perfect mix of outbound (mailing, cold calle, advertising) and inbound (SEO, website, blog, social media) inquiry acquisition.
Don't let enthusiasm affect your sales
New entrepreneurs are often the biggest fans of their companies, services or products. This is, of course, the correct approach because you must first and foremost believe in what you are selling yourself. The challenge comes when your fanaticism makes you stop noticing any flaws in the services or products you offer, or completely ignore customer comments. If you try too zealously to close the deal you can scare contractors away with your pushiness. Enthusiasm is important, but make sure it doesn't completely blind you to the objective image of your company.
Sales and marketing is all about solving problems. Entrepreneurs go into business because they want to create something new or develop, improve an existing product to fill a need in the world. Sales is said to be about getting people to make a purchase or overcoming their objections.
The truth is that the best salespeople are those who can build a relationship with the customer, focus on the customer's needs and find innovative ways to solve their problems.
Entrepreneurship is a continuous learning process, and there is no better way to learn sales and marketing than to start your own business. If you avoid the simple mistakes of a beginner and learn to deliver real value to your customers, you will become a full-fledged entrepreneur.