How to be better at Sales (and Marketing)-start by understanding their world

This question comes up all the time: how can I make my sales more effective, how can I be good at sales or at least better than the next guy. The first tip is to get better at marketing: weed out those who aren’t interested and just talk to those people who are.

How to improve your sales and marketing: To excel you must integrate the idea that your customers live in their own world. They know nothing about you, your world or what you are capable of. They don’t understand you so you must understand them, speak to their problem and show them the opportunity of your solution.

Selling yourself, your business, or your product requires that you establish trust and relevance by showing them that you understand their world and that there is a solution available in your world.

A sales presentation about the presenter misses the mark

For example, the other day I sat through a bunch of sales presentations as a part of a teaching program.

Every one of these companies, without exception, droned on about themselves and what they do. 

And despite the intent to interest me in their products, I had to work to figure out how I could use them, what it would mean for my business.  Afterward, I left tired, uninterested and now can barely remember any of the presenters. 

Instead of building trust and relevance and enticing me to buy, they put me to sleep.

The presenters missed an opportunity to create a connection with his prospects and his audience.

They had a willing and interested audience. But their content was, well, awful. The reason it was awful is that they were focusing on themselves and their world, what they do. But I was more concerned about the challenges I face in my world.

When you are selling yourself, your business even your product you must realize that the buyer lives in one world and you live in another. They know nothing about your world. And they aren’t interested.

This is key to understand, if I could tattoo it on the inside of your arm I would. Your prospects, in the case above, me, exist in their world.  They live in a place where certain things are possible and some things are impossible.

That world is not complete, and they are missing something.  They may or may not know it, but they definitely don’t know how to make it complete. 

You exist in your world where different things are possible – you have a solutions that solves a problem for your them.  

The challenge is that the two worlds don’t intersect.  They know nothing about your world. There is no common ground.  

So, you must show that you understand their world and give them an idea of what is possible in your world.  

You must make your audience aware of your solution and entice them to want more.  

Start by following the three rules: and remember that you can’t explain to them that you have a great solution, they will tune out in a heartbeat.  

Talking about your credentials is even worse, remember effective marketing appeals to an emotional level.

Talk about their world, their problem, their challenge and how you will solve it.  

They don’t care about you; it is never about you.

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPod, he explained to us that our world was incomplete because we couldn’t fit all of our music in our back pocket.  

Up until that moment not many of us had ever wanted our music in our back pocket – but suddenly we saw a shiny object in his world that we wanted to have in our world. 

That is what you need to do for your prospects.  

The journey starts with awareness, awareness of the problem and awareness that there might be a solution.  Remember, your prospect has no idea that you exist and no notion of the problem you are solving, so you have to reach out to your market and show you understand them first.  

Your prospect then moves on to engagement: this is when they talk to you and learn about your content.  Apple customers visit the Apple store to check out the iPod: is this real?  Is it as cool as it looked on stage?  Here it is essential to build trust and show relevance.  

Finally, your prospect converts to a customer: This is when they connect to your world, they get what is possible and decide to fork over their limited resource, money, to participate.  

And then the journey continues to advocacy: If you make your customers happy they will advocate on your behalf.  Just think of Apple customers – they are the fiercest advocates of Apple products, flaws and all.  

So stop putting people to sleep with facts and figures.  

Take them on a journey.  Show them that you understand what is missing in their world and entice them with the opportunity in their world.  

Show them what is possible.  And always keep in mind that they won’t do the work to understand.  

Connecting with your prospects around their problems will transform your sales and marketing.

People will naturally get what you do. They will be interested in you. They will want to do business with you. They will seek you out.

There is no magic here. There is no gimmickry. It is simply clear communications and putting your customer first. This is how the greatest marketers make their mark and it will explode your sales and marketing.

People ask me how to differentiate themselves.  They often make this very complicated.  But, if just one of the presenters I saw the other day had told a good marketing story, they would have stood out like a diamond in a sea of coal. 

So, the first way to differentiate is to tell a better story.