The term “marketing mix” is a term to describe how businesses promote their products and services or how customers learn about a business’s products and services.
There are many methods to use. No one method works all the time but all the methods work some of the time. Developing a marketing mix is not unlike making a cake. Using flour alone does not make a cake. It takes other ingredients, carefully chosen, blended and handled to come up with a recipe for a cake that most people will like.
There are lots of methods one has to choose from when thinking about and discussing what the marketing mix should be. As with the ingredients that go into making the cake, any one used alone will not do the job. It is the combining and coordination of them that means each will be more effective than if used alone. To come up with the right marketing mix it may take trying different recipes until the right mix is found. Each business will have to choose the methods that are best for them.
When making the choices of what the ingredients are and how much of each needs to be used to make up the marketing mix, one has to take into consideration if the customer comes to the business (store, office, web site) if the business goes out to the customers (visit, mail, e-mail, fax, letter, phone), or if customers might do either or both.
The successful salesman will learn to understand the marketing philosophy conducted by his company and use it to support his own sales techniques. Most average sales people have no interest in, or realise the relevance of, good marketing. The company’s marketing will use research, surveys and many other information sources to determine the best marketing profile. The department will then use this assimilated data to provide the optimum communication to help achieve varying objectives. This could involve brand improvement, market awareness, new products / services to fill a market niche or just supporting their sales teams. The successful salesman will always keep abreast of these activities. Quality marketing should work in partnership with sales in the objective of encouraging the buyer to buy, and on that basis, all the company sales people should be acutely aware of its current activity.
CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR MORE SALES
Every business needs more business ( and so do sales people )
That’s an accepted fact. It is also however that most businesses don’t use all the opportunities available that will bring them additional business. One of the most significant is “Selling Up”. As its name suggests it revolves around cross selling other products and services to an original buyer. An original buyer is often more receptive to repeat buying and as such needs to be offered either other similar products or more of the original, or both.
“What are “second sales” and why are they important? Second sales are add-on sales, repeat sales and sale by referral. They are important because they are much less expensive to get than original sales. This is because the time and energy spent getting that first sale is avoided, thus the sale becomes more profitable to both the company and the salesman.
First time sales often do not produce large profits. The costs associated with getting a first-time sale are high since they include all the elements of the company. It’s sales team, its marketing, its production, its finance and many more, but, the costs of getting the customer to buy a second time are lower since many of these elements are eliminated.
ADD-ONS can be when customers buy 2 or more items during the same time period. It could also relate to a situation where the value increases due to the size of the order or if the buyer accepts a higher price than originally decided due to add on values..
REPEATS are the goal for any business gaining “customer loyalty.” While it is often spoken of, it often is not pursued.
CROSS SALES. These can come by various routes dependent on the industry. In my own industry of data supply, it could be a question of if a person buys data, then he maybe interested in profiling his current customers or he requires a telephone call bureau service.
In the book sales industry, after the sale of one book, you will be often communicated with suggestions for others that are similar to those you ordered. Both these are examples of cross selling.
The opportunity to create add-ons, repeat sales and cross sales is often overlooked. The opportunity everyone should be aware of is ways to sell new ideas, services and/or products to old customers; sell old ideas, services and/or products to new customers; and sell old ideas, services and/or products to old customers.
And let us not forget that repeat customers can be an indication that, in the mind of these customers, the firm sells good quality and value, and gives good service. This can therefore very often lead to
When customers are proud to be associated with the product, salesperson or firm and they believe they can talk with confidence and intelligence about the product or service, they will talk about it at the first opportunity. Their telling about it may result in others coming in to see or call and, hopefully to buy.
Another referral is “word-of-mouth.” This means asking people for a referral. Sometimes it can be done unobtrusively, other times it may take getting up enough nerve to come out and ask for it. In the selling business, the adage is “always ask for the sale.” In the business of making second sales, the adage is “always ask for a referral.”
Referrals also come from the “awareness factor.” The more people who know about the firm and what it sells, the better the chances are that when a discussion includes something related to what the business sells, those aware of these products or services will bring this information into the conversation. Branding is the most perfect example of this referral in action.
The road to getting more second sales is when through their actions and efforts everyone in the firm asks New Customers, Current Customers, Past Customers, “What Do You Need Me To Be?”
A SERIOUS WARNING
It’s a most rare occurrence whenever a sales person admits that he could improve his sales techniques. The majority of sales people are happy to continue the way they are despite their support of new ideas at any sales training sessions. These blogs may therefore may be of little use to that majority.
I will state however that this book is not a teaching session, nor an instruction blog. After 40 years in the selling business, it is a collection of personal observations of the many selling situations I have been involved with and the many hundreds of sales people I have seen at work. It is also a result of courses attended and the reading of books from many so called experts, some good, some not so good but from each I have opened my mind to any small gold nuggets that may be found in them. But primarily it is the conclusions of observation and from my own hands on experience over the many years. I hope you read it with an open mind and at least it helps a little in your chosen career.