If there are two areas of your business that must work together itâ€™s sales and marketing. After all, the whole purpose of your marketing should be to increase your sales.
Unfortunately, for many small businesses, sales and marketing donâ€™t work together, in fact they often work against each other. This isnâ€™t always because they are two separate teams working on their own agendas either. For many small businesses, the same people perform the sales function and the marketing function.
Avoiding A Sales And Marketing Clash
When everything works well, your marketing will result in leads and these leads will result in sales. Unfortunately, this isnâ€™t always the case. When sales and marketing are not aligned and working well together, fewer sales get made. There are a few simple things you can do to avoid a sales and marketing clash. Now, take a slow deep breath in through your nose and let it slowly out thought your mouth. Let the harmony begin.
Sales Ruining Your First Impression
So you spent a considerable sum of money on a new advertising campaign. Itâ€™s been designed well and is generating a lot of enquiries. The problem is that sales are not handling these enquiries well. Theyâ€™re not 100% familiar with the advertisement; clients are left on hold while they run around trying to find a copy of the ad. Excuses are offered and half-hearted apologies are made, but the damage has been done.
Regardless of who handles sales enquiries in your business, they must be familiar with any and all current advertising. This also includes the content of your website. Answering enquiries quickly and professionally makes a far better first impression.
Advertising That Makes Sales Harder
Itâ€™s important that the leads you produce are quality leads that can be converted into sales without too much difficulty. Unfortunately, some advertising can make sales harder to achieve. Advertising that is confusing, or misses out on important information can create a lot of headaches. Youâ€™re likely to end up answering a lot of questions, but not necessarily making sales.
There are two ways you can tackle this problem. The first is to look at preventing it in the first place. Before you go ahead with an ad, double check it for clarity and accuracy. Getting other people to check it is also a good idea; they may spot something you missed. The second is to react to what clients are telling you. They are your target audience; itâ€™s possible that what makes perfect sense to you is confusing to them without the benefit of your background knowledge.
If youâ€™re constantly having to clarify things, this is a sign your advertising is not as clear as it could be.
Don’t Make Clients Pay For Your Mistakes
If you made a mistake on your advertising, like an incorrect price or an omission, consider giving the client the benefit. Besides your legal obligations, which you need to be aware of, itâ€™s worth considering going the extra mile.
Recently I received a flyer in the mail promoting car servicing for a new mechanic in the area. It was a compelling offer and the company offering it was a local office of a larger chain. After ringing to enquire, I was told it did not cover cars that need â€˜specialâ€™ oil. It was an extra $50 for my car. I told them I would think about it, which is code for no thanks.
There were a couple of issues here: the advertisement had no conditions mentioned, or even the obligatory asterisk. Considering many cars now require different grades of oil, this should have been noted. The second issue was that they made no acknowledgement that the advertisement could have been clearer when I called.
What they could have done was to offer it for the advertised price and admitted their ad should have mentioned the restriction. A short-sighed person will see this as costing them money. But in the long term it will cost them much more; they have lost my trust and I wonâ€™t be mentioning them to friends.
If they had offered it for the advertised price it would be a very different story. I would have been impressed by their honesty and integrity. They would have made a fantastic first impression. Iâ€™d be much more likely to refer other people to them.
Think of the lifetime value of your clients and the lifetime value of the people they will refer to you.
What are the challenges you face getting sales and marketing to work well together? Leave a comment below to share your experiences.