How to sell to a Chief of Marketing. A salesperson’s guide.

Every sales person knows the time when they get close to a decision maker and have to approach a potential buyer in purchasing particular product or service. Sometimes those things go easy, sometimes not. Mostly not, when you speak with a “Been there, done that” marketer.

With a respect to all sales people, professionals and newbies.

Not every offer what sales have is a good enough and worth attention, honestly, I get lots of bullshit offers that I will never pay for every couple days.

“Let us do your website” when I have a team of 50 developers or “Let us help you with SEO” when my company website is number one in all search results is sort of annoying and irrelevant. Don’t you agree?

The most innocent was a call to my personal mobile at 2 am with trying to sell me some don’t remember what :). Damn, guys, check a timezone first when you make an overseas call please.

Not authorised data usage.

Don’t play dirty games with a stolen contacts list or the one you bought from somewhere. Simply won’t work. If you do, at least be honest.

Do not make a lame story like “Your friend recommended” or “We met in a conference”. Not everyone has a bad memory.

Better tell a truth: “You are on a list of our spam database”. At least you get a +1 to your karma and a person on other side will believe your story, maybe. Build truth, not destroy it.

Build a relationship, not one-way sales communication.

Know your client. Learn his business.

Head of Marketing personality can be a key in your sale success. Be individual. Forget about templates and “following a script” phone calls. I’m serious. When I receive a call or an email and feel it as a template, that’s immediately “Thank you for getting in touch, but goodbye and have a nice day”.

How can you sell to a person with template script if he was developing those scripts during long time of his career journey? Don’t you think that it’s so 2004 to approach clients with mass spam?

For a minute, it’s middle 2015 now, and new technologies and all those social studies can help you be more individual. Just a hint for your research 😉

Track, monitor, read.

In the modern world of Social Media you can get so much on a particular persona to start individual targeted sales campaign, and doesn’t matter, you sell a $5/month or $10K/month product.

Just ask yourself: “Why the heck he needs what I sell?”

Going again to the annoying part when sales are contacting you and offering what you already have or what is much worse of the services you use.

Seriously, why would I pay for it?

Don’t waste your time on nonsense communications, email spamming and phone calls. Learn about the company and its marketing performance before contacting and trying to offer even the most advanced service in Universe.

You are going to speak to a senior person who is in charge of all company performance in terms of marketing and who is making enough bucks to keep that company on number one positions in specific industry. Time is money. Why would marketers waste time on the conversation that doesn’t go further?

Learn what a company and marketing department is doing for marketing performance and how good they are in what they do before making an offer. Learn competitors, be acknowledged in the specific industry where your targeted contact is, speak data, speak facts, get rid of  blah-blah-blah…

Selling a new software or marketing cloud as a service to VP of Marketing may be a good deal for you, but again: Why should I switch from what I already use?

You have to be as much specific as you can and go straight to a point. Keep in mind, the person on another side of a phone call is tech savvy and knows what are company needs more than anyone else. Marketing leaders are not the ones who will easily accept anything what they are offered, unless you prove the value of a service or a product. And this has to be really strong and confident.

Well, that’s why your targeted buyer is in charge of multi-million company’s investments in marketing and responsible for marketing ROI. And believe me, he knows how sales works and is one step ahead you in most situations.

Learn what they don’t have and what they use, compare to your current offer and ask yourself “Should I make a phone call or better not?”

Sometimes, even a small marketing tool can bring you a great sale if the targeted buyer is really in need of it and there is nothing same-same what they are already using. 

Be Specific about your product or service.

Please please please, again about templates, don’t start from your template introductions, product journeys, annoying demos and “what is marketing” presentations. We know it. We seen it. We tested them.

You already learned who is your client (or not yet), a decision maker or a company itself, so please do yourself a favour, don’t waste time on what will result in “thanks, goodbye”.

Selling SaaS? Good for you, but is it good for me?

Will your product provide me more features and give more horsepower to my marketing campaigns overall? Will your product save my company good amount of money at the end of the year while providing same performance and support that we have at the moment? Will I get more return with offered horsepowers?

Again and again, do I need the product that you sell?

Let’s talk numbers, ROI and consumer engagement. Do not play corporate drama with presentations, demos, service introduction crap etc unless you offer truly innovative product or totally new service and marketer had no chance to take a look on it yet. 

How you know? Just ask.

“What’s your budget?”

For real? Are you seriously asking that sh*t? Ok, it’s endless. Period.

The common mistake of most sales is straight forward question about marketing budget. Seems like you don’t have pricing developed or you quote a client based on how expensive is his watch or how big is a company and so on… Dude, that’s like “tell me how much is your salary and I will decide how much I want a share from it”.

Make marketers confident in a need of your service, show them potential ROI and then make an offer after understanding what outcome your buyer will get in a future from a purchase from you.

One day I received an offer from marketing automation PaaS company and bunch of questions like “how much you willing to pay” and “what’s your budget for next year”. Seriously, do you really think I will tell you what budgets I’m operating with? I think my Accountant and Board of Directors only knows that. Dear, we didn’t even have a date to talk about budgets…

If you got a chance to make an offer already, means I was listening to you, means you know Who you talking to, What the company is doing and Why the company may need your services or products.

Please, do not screw up the conversation with asking Head of Marketing “How much do you have in your bank account?” Honestly, just don’t do it.

Make marketers to understand the return on investment, based on their needs. Any numbers are possible, if those investments will bring company much bigger return that we are talking here. Just do it right. Help marketers to calculate ROI, be human not a machine. Talk with them, be human and opened, do not spam them with your speech and bullshit communications.

Behave.

A key to any conversation is the way how you behave, the way how you speak and how confident you are in yourself. Again, yourself, not your product or service. Make decision maker to feel confidence in your words. You are the one who sales stuff and who is probably motivated to do so. Please, don’t mess with marketers who can blacklist whole your company forever only because of one not polite sales guy.

Start from good manners at least, and remember – you are the one interested in sale. You are the one who makes money based on your sales performance. Never behave like a buyer is the one who is interested and you are the center of the Globe. Even if you are a Sales Superstar – be loyal and never behave like whole world owns you. Don’t forget who is making money from sale at this point.

Believe me, even the less needed product sometimes gets a successful sale only because of good sales person’s manners and smart steps taken to approach head of marketing.

Good luck to all Sales people! Cheers to Marketers!

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