Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Source: Marketing magazine
The 20th SEMPL, regional media conference on media trends, to be held in Portoroz on November 29-30, will be attended by the “sales whisperer” Wes Schaeffer, an American entrepreneur, sales coach and copywriter who graduated from the US Army Pilot Academy. He entrusted us with what marketing and sales differ in and, at the same time, compliment each other with.
Where does your nickname “sales whisperer” come from?
I gave myself that nickname. You probably remember tv series and movies about a guy who is a dog, horse, ghost whisperer and the likes. That inspired me to think in this direction. I do the same when it comes to sales. I help sales directors and sales personnel recognize the right direction, help them decide on the right steps of sales and help them realize what kind of leaders they need to become in order for people to follow them. When I got the idea of a “sales whisperer”, I immediately bought the domain I’ve been using since 2006.
How did the American Army Pilot Academy graduate find himself in sales?
Actually, I’ve been in sales my whole career. When I left the aviation in 1997, I became a salesman. Then I joined the high-tech company at the time of the very beginnings of internet, but that didn’t go well. Because of uncertainty, when you ask yourself every day if you will have a job on the next, I decided it was best to quit and do something on my own. Ever since, I’ve been studying and investing heavily in myself. At the beginning of 2006, I engaged a sales coach who helped me recognize a wider picture and a different way. By the end of that year, I set the foundations of my company and, in early 2007, I started with full steam ahead.
How hard was it starting such an insecure business venture?
It was very difficult. My wife had been at home for 23 years by then and did not work because we already had five children. Today we have seven. It meant that I had to provide for seven people. I knew I had to persist. Everything that is valuable in life is usually difficult. But you have to start somewhere, be consistent and remain devoted. I succeeded at that.
You are convinced that “marketing is just sales on paper”. What is the difference between them at all then?
Marketing is about reach, your voice being heard by as many people as possible, and sales are usually a “one on one” thing. Marketing has to take care of good ad, an appealing slogan, matching images – that’s all sales, at the same time, a short journey which will end up with a purchase. I like to say to people: “Excellent marketing makes sales easier. But excellent sales, make excellent marketing possible in the first place. Marketing and sales are therefore closely related.”
The key task of every entrepreneur or business owner is to care for their own marketing. There will always be people who know how to write books, develop software, or program websites. But no one can tell your story as you can yourself.
So what would anyone working in marketing have to know about sales in order to have a better understanding of their colleagues in sales? It is a fact that there are still frictions between marketing and sales of a businesses.
Firstly, we have to understand that we are talking about two sides of the same coin. In companies it is often the case that a marketing person works for a salary and his sales colleague for a commission. This is already controversial. Management should take care of clearly defining the goals, meaning that both marketing and sales must understand the overall customer input. Marketing, then, needs to know at what point it needs to hand things to the sales. Because, you know, sometimes we are curious as customers and we just click on an ad, which doesn’t mean that we are going to buy the advertised product at all. Marketing’s task is therefore to spread the news about the product, and to educate, inform and motivate the potential buyers. That is when sales enter the game and accompany the customer in that last mile of the shopping journey. The rules of the game have fundamentally changed in the last decades. Twenty years ago, those selling were the only ones who had all the information, and consumers had to inquire about the products. Today, all knowledge is in the hands of the consumer. I can explore everything, watch YouTube videos, participate in webinars and conferences. The task of the sales force is now to confirm to the consumer that he is on the right path, to convince him that the purchase is a good decision. The salesman has to take the customer by the hand and guide him through these turbulent waters, convince him that he has made the right decision. So, the task of the marketing department is to make sure the company stands out in the crowded and loud market space.
How do you help businesses achieve those high growth rates?
As I have already mentioned, everyone who has their own company should first and foremost sell themselves. If you do not believe that you are the best choice for the consumers, they will not believe it either. Be confident in yourself, in your offer and, at the same time, be aware that you will not be liked by everyone. And that’s ok. To my clients, I say that our job is to separate, make a distinction. We classify, sift and eject. We can’t be close to everyone. We look for people looking for us. When we dedicate our time to seeking motivated consumers, we can spend most of the time with them, educate them, and talk to them. Too much effort is made to make the sales, instead of dedicating ourselves to establishing relationships and communicating with the cunsumers all the time. We have to look for ways to serve them. If you are selling with empathy, everything will go to your benefit.
So who, in your opinion, is an excellent salesman?
He looks for ways to serve people. He is full of empathy. Above all, he is a good listener.
Businesses use social media mainly for communication and as a sales channels. How can they cash in on them?
Five years ago, I hosted an expert in my podcast who said that if you’re not good at email marketing, you have nothing to do in social media. He had already realized that organic traffic in social media was the result of deeper relationships with the consumers. Facebook has become a payable platform, which does not really differ much from the billboards on the side of the road. That’s why you need to master paid promotion in order to use Facebook to place an ad about your offer. Otherwise, you can still increase the engagement of your customers, but those who are already delighted with you and are already buying your products. But you can not expect that after a cool tweet, or Facebook ad, customers will form a line in order to buy your products. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works.
You’ve written a book titled For a lasting business, more than a big smile, you need a good idea and a Twitter account. How to achieve lasting success in the market?
Businesses must first go back to their beginnings and ask themselves why they ever even started, in the first place. Are they on the market to serve people or just to make as much money as possible? If you find yourself selling just to make money, you will be in trouble. Besides, you need to be aware that you have to be very good at doing something because you have to become famous for it. You also need to understand that the industries are changing, so you have to persevere with what you are good at and adapt your offer to the changing market. See McDonald’s, for example. At the beginning, it offered hamburgers, French fries, and Coca Cola, and it was very good at it. Once it dominated the market, it expanded the offer with sandwiches, salads, coffee and the likes. First, make sure you control the market or your niche and be ready for change. Perhaps it sounds contradictory, but look at IBM. It does not produce any more computers, which were a golden standard once. They mastered the production of quality computers and offered high quality service to large companies. Machines can easily change but services and counseling remain the same. They work in the same market while changing it.
How do you see the future of sales? There are opinions that, in the near future, robots will chat instead of us, “talk” to each other and buy products for us.
The moment when our parents got the revolutionary fax machines can be compared to when we got e-mail or social media. The gadgets made it easier for us to do some things, but we still needed a salesman to explain to us how it works. You have to be aware that we humans didn’t develop so much as species in the last one thousand years, we only process more and more information every day. The development of artificial intelligence will continue, facilitating access to information. It is about a more appropriate use of the appropriate information. I think there will always be a need for a human in a sales role, someone who will make it easier for potential buyer to make the final purchase decision.