How to create a marketing strategy that delivers predictable sales

 

One of the biggest opportunities that I have come across in business is implementing a sales and marketing strategy that delivers predictable sales and a positive return on investment.  

 
 

But this is something that most companies struggle with. The problem is that most marketing misses the mark because the focus is off: 

  • Companies talk about themselves rather than their clients.

  • Marketers chase the next new tactic without a cohesive strategy.

  • Marketing execution is by gut feeling, rather than a scientific, systematic approach.

There is a better way.

I have learned that there are five elements to marketing that delivers predictable sales:

  1. Deliver value

  2. Be relevant to your client.

  3. Be a credible guide

  4. Create a sequential strategy that mimics human relationships.

  5. Get scientific about marketing.

I cover each one of these below.

Focus on implementing these five elements and you will be on the road to a marketing strategy that delivers sales reliably, predictably and profitably. 

Download the tools and a short guide here:

Begin with delivering value

If your sales engine isn’t working then the first question you must ask yourself is: “Am I delivering value?” 

If nobody values what you offer… nobody is going to pay for it. 

This seems straightforward, but product - market fit, or the communication of product market fit, is often an issue.

Part of the reason is that the word value is ambiguous. So start by removing the ambiguity, let value be the difference between what someone pays and the benefit they get.

This just happens to be the economic definition of value. I like the way Roy H Williams phrases it. Value is

“[value is] the difference between the anticipated price and the actual price on the tag.”

value.jpg

This is nice, simple and clear cut. The anticipated price is what I think something is worth and the actual price is what it costs me. If I think your service is worth $10, and you charge me $5 I get $5 worth of value.

In marketing you communicate your product and what you do for people and in their mind they will attribute an expected cost.

When you tell them your price they will have one of three reactions: 

  • That is Expensive, which means you either under-communicated or over priced.

  • Hmm, that sounds about right, which means the expected value and the price are closely matched.

  • That is a great deal, which means that their expected value is greater than the price.

Ideally we want everybody to be in the third category; not by managing the price down but rather the value up.

The challenge is that sales is the transference of confidence. The confidence you have in your product will help convey the value.  While most companies add value (I think…) they communicate it poorly, they don’t exude confidence. 

This lowers the perception of value and reduces the difference between the anticipated price and the actual price.

So start reviewing your marketing by delving into your value.

Ask yourself,

  • is my (our) product valuable?

  • Do people want it?

  • Do I solve a real problem?

If the answer is yes and you are confident in what you are selling then great,  

keep reading. 

If not go back to the drawing board and figure out how you will confidently deliver value. The best marketing strategy cannot fix a bad product. 

An aside: often when I work with clients on defining their value I discover that they are doing too much, not too little. They are overcomplicating things and this muddles the understanding of “what is in it for me”.

Once you know that you are valuable, you have to communicate it… that comes next.

Next make sure that you are relevant

In all likelihood you have a valuable product. You know that you are solving a problem and making lives and businesses better. 

So the next question is relevance. 

Start by asking this question: does your messaging speak to a felt need and known desired end result? 

If not you are not alone: 99% of businesses focus on what they do, the features of their product and the services they offer.

They look for clever ways to convince the world that they are really smart and have a great solution. 

The problem is that nobody cares. 

You, what you do and how you do it, are not relevant in your prospects lives. What they care about is themselves. 

Ultimately people don’t buy products or services they buy transformation. 

In fact transformation is all anybody buys.

Ever. 

Therefore, sales and marketing messaging must articulate and convey the shift, or transformation, that the buyer goes through. 

When you communicate with transformation your prospects lean forward and want to learn more. The confusion in their eyes dissipates and they start down that journey. 

Or the confusion in their eyes dissipates and they move on because they get what you do and don’t want it. 

That is okay too, you want to speak to the right people not anybody who will listen.

So, the key to relevance is to show prospects how you move them from the before state to the after state. Understand your ideal client, define what is missing in their life that you eventually resolve and show them what life is like after they work with you. 

In other words, are you talking bout your products or are you talking about your customers. 

Adjust your messaging to talk about your customers. 

You must be a credible guide

Once your prospects understand that you have a solution and can offer them transformation they must see you as worthy guide. You want to show them that you are trustworthy and not just smoke and mirrors. 

Why should they believe that you can do what you can do? 

This is easy to do if you have the experience.

I, for example, have advised companies ranging in size from startups to multinationals including names like Ford Motor Company, Rio Tinto Diamonds and Wiley publishing. Digital Marketer has trained companies like Uber, Hubspot and the Economist. 

So we know a thing or two about marketing and that is why our clients turn to us for advice. 

But you don’t have to have the big names… the key is to be honest and specific. 

Ivory_old_1954.jpg

Think of Ivory soap. When they introduced their product they claimed to be 99.44% pure. I don’t even know what this means, but it is specific, honest and adds credibility. 

They threw in that the soap floats. Why this matters is unclear, but it is a specific proof point that demonstrates honesty and increases credibility (well, assuming it really floats). 

If you don’t have the experience, focus on being honest and specific. Drop all of the overwrought language, clichés and flowery adjectives. Just be clear about the problem you solve and how you solve it. 

So, what are some of the things that YOU do that is unique or at least interesting and specific. Show how you can deliver and present yourself as a credible brand. 

Create a sequential process

Does your offer funnel follow the same form and function of a normal healthy human relationship?

Sales and marketing is just like dating. If you are in a bar and you walk up to someone and ask to get married they will almost always say no. 

Asking for the sale is like proposing. If you haven’t taken the time to build a relationship it will be weird to ask for the sale. Don’t make it weird! 

Create a journey that engages your clients in your offer and draws them into your world. Give them something that demonstrates value and then ask for the sale. 

There is a balance here. Asking for the sale too early is creepy. Not asking for the sale means you will never get it. So find the balance. 

We use the Customer Value Journey canvas to map this out. 

Finally - is your process scientific

For a process to be scientific it must be repeatable, measurable and teachable. 

All too often people look for a magic cure or a tactic that will “solve” sales. Or we look for a magic person who can “do” sales. 

Rober Cialdini

Rober Cialdini

But the process of persuasion is, in the words of Robert Cialdini “governed by psychological laws, which means that similar procedures can produce similar results over a wide range of situations.” 

If you don’t have a predictable sales process then stop doing what you are doing and fix it!

I you are having success codify it, put it into a process, measure it and improve it. Sales and marketing are persuasion and the process should be measurable, repeatable and learnable. 

Predictable Sales Is Possible 

Designing a predictable sales process is possible, it takes some thinking, some rigor and the benefit of trial and error. These five elements: 

  1. Deliver value

  2. Be relevant to your client.

  3. Be a credible guide

  4. Create a sequential strategy that mimics human relationships.

  5. Get scientific about marketing.

Are key to getting started.

Download our workbook to start giving this some thought. 

Would you like an hour and a half double your sales workshop? This is completely free, no obligation and we will immediately identify the areas where you need to focus to double your sales.