All my life, I just wanted to create good products.
I’d always think of ideas, and then create them. This went on with product development competitions, my current job, the podcast, anything.
Two years ago, I did a venture where I put skin in the game and I lost my inventory doing something stupid.
Looking back, I panicked about it because I didn’t know how to sell and market.
So this ignited a fire within me. I realized that making products is pretty much maybe 10% of the work. 90% of the work is sales and marketing! After the loss that hurt me a bit, I spent the last 2 years absorbing about 10 books about sales such as The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, and SPIN Selling. I follow marketing geniuses like Seth Godin or Amy Porterfield on the daily. Even bought some of their stuff. I had to consume myself in learning about sales and marketing.
So what were the benefits in this? A successful podcast, some consulting clients in the bag, and a huge climb up the corporate ladder. Not bad, huh?
Inspired by the episode with Eric Dunn, here are my top 3 takeaways in how sales and marketing can improve your life in so many ways.
Most books talk about who’s your audience. A lot of companies hone in on a target market and some books say you should be so specific on who you’re targeting that they should be given a name like Frank, Joe or Mary. Depends on your demographic, right?
Apparently, this conveys very well on corporate communication. The way you communicate to the people above you should be different on how you communicate with the people equal to you and maybe below you.
Sign Up For Our Weekly 5 Course Meal
I pick out 5 pieces of content from the latest food industry news to the greatest new products and leave my snarky comments every week.
Not only that, but the way you communicate with your internal peers is totally different than talking to your external clients.
Most people who read this are like “duh Adam”. Yes, what I am stating is the obvious, but I’ve seen and experienced instances where this has bit people hard.
More importantly, some people like to be super professional and some people like to joke so it is a matter of perception on how to deal with people. It takes experience on how to deal with different people rather than a book.
All I can really squeeze out of this is the fact that you need to target your communication to specific people. The more you can read a person and talk the way they walk, the more likely they will work with you.
In my literature, I’ve been noticing most sales people and marketers switch from “what’s in it for me?” to “what can I do for you?”. Conveying value seems to be a huge indicator of success and most importantly, trust.
I’ve found the most powerful indicator of value in my job and in the other stuff I do is speed and transparency. If someone asks you for something and you deliver in 5 minutes, then you have proven you care about the business relationship (whether this works for other types of relationships…needs more testing). In business, time is money and if you can promise deliverables and get them to people faster than you promise, you gain major respect points.
Transparency is tricky, and if you have a big ego, it’s hard to do. However, in ALL cases, being transparent helps a relationship going forward. If you can’t make a deadline, be transparent on why (however, don’t BLAME anyone for not doing their job when explaining a failed deliverable). Transparency is a blurry gray line, if done right and in small amounts, it can show trust. If done wrong, you will be seen as either too dependable, or spiteful.
At the end of the day, my advice in this is to over promise and over deliver. Be fast to over deliver and if you can’t deliver on time, be transparent about it.
The Long-Run Relationship
Long-run relationships work like this.
If you email someone every month to see how they’re doing, you’re in it for the long run
If you invite someone to lunch every month just to know them, you’re in it for a long run
If you bump into people in your networking or community events, they’re in it in the long run.
Sounds kind of like a strange lover. Well, in business, that’s ok!
Most people are too impatient in their drive to success. I’d say I’m too impatient in some cases. However, most of the opportunities I’ve had were from people who’ve I’ve had contact month after month.
To really hit home, you’d be surprised where your connections will take you. But always keep in contact with them and ask how they’re doing. Sometimes opportunities can come up when you least expect them.
Of course, it’s a bit harder to just annoy someone month after month, you have to indirectly show them that you’re kind of a decent person. The most successful business relationships I’ve had were with people who did extra-curricular activities in their spare time, or we had something in common. Like an appreciation for pizza, for instance.