Thursday, September 17, 2009

Relations Sales

This week I was interviewed for a press release that is going out about our agency and while I was being interviewed I thought of the fundamental difference between successful use of a new media PR strategy using social media and every other approach such as traditional media, web marketing, banner ads and on and on which I will go over in a second.

First I wanted to discuss sales. I deal with companies both large and small every single day and have found uniformly that sales is a weak area for those companies. Many companies have been trying to create sales using tricky marketing, smartly targeted advertisements, funny or witty campaigns to hopefully grab attention etc. However, sales is and always has been and will always be about relationships. You have to reach out to the target public (audience) that you want to sell to, make yourself and company known to them and build a relationship somehow to then develop into a sale once you have authentically discovered what that person or company truly needs.

I see time and time again that companies and people are being sold on widgets, marketing ploys etc to hopefully stay fresh in their prospective clients minds and then hopefully that will do the trick and they will magically buy from them. While some of these methods may work to grab attention, there is no avoiding the fact that if you want to sell any person or company, you must 1. truly understand that company or person to understand how revenue flows, what the problems are and how to solve them and 2. you must build a relationship with the person or company that is authentic and built around trust.

Sales happens to be one of our strong suits as a company and I can attest that I follow these actions:

1. Seek the target market I am going after to make a connection somehow

2. Make some kind of introduction to work toward creating a relationship and starting a conversation

3. Really address the prospects needs and wants and work to learn about the prospects company to understand how they make income, what works, what doesn't etc. Typically by the time I am done this step I feel the prospects company could hire me for sales the next day and I would smoothly start selling for them. Know them that well and you will close them.

4. Build the relationship - be authentic (in other words, be yourself) and work to maintain a very open communication with the prospect. Don't just jam your ideas down their throat, listen and engage in a lot of back and forth conversation.

5. Address the problems accurately and propose the solution to work toward agreement both ways. Once you can come to an agreement based on what is being proposed, you can then comfortably ask for the sale.

Our agency works on these points everyday and because of this we can deliver our services to our clients far better than most creative agencies due to the fundamental difference that we don't just create smart campaigns or pretty graphics for our clients, we intimately understand their companies, how the revenue flows, how they make sales and what the key problems are. From there we can cater entirely to them using new media as a platform to attain their goals and objectives with a clearly laid out strategy that is built around real world practicality - sales. We know that the reason any company invests in any PR, marketing or advertising strategy is to boost sales and revenue which would be impossible to attain unless their was a crystal clear understanding of how they sell and how revenue is created for that company.

But the secret behind sales is relationships. You can't make a sale if you haven't first made relations with a target public. It's not an overnight thing, building relations is authentic, it's transparent and it takes time. Go and try this out to fine tune your sales strategy and you will see for yourself that if you 1. identify a target public you would like to go after and 2. make relations with them and build your pipeline making relations with people and companies developing these relationships into sales one by one, you will see your income dramatically improve.

If you have any questions about how to build relations with a target public, feel welcome to contact me directly