“Everyone lives by selling something.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
Over the past couple of months, this blog has focused on helping you develop specific and measurable intentions for your business. Now we want to shift gears, and talk more about delivering on those intentions. What actions do you need to take to create more sales, which will increase your revenue, which will ultimately increase your profits and keep your company viable?
The first step is to have a sales and marketing plan. It’s important to take the time to create a plan for where and how you are going to generate sales. Otherwise you will waste valuable time and resources throwing darts at a vague map on the wall instead of finding the prospects who have the greatest likelihood of buying your product.
There are some key elements of any sales and marketing plan that are essential guidelines for your strategy:
The Sales and Marketing Plan must align with your intentions. You have put a lot of effort into creating specific intentions that are going to drive your company to your desired results. Your sales and marketing plan needs to tie into those intentions. Design your marketing actions so that you are pursuing the kinds of clients that will give you what you want. When you look at your sales and marketing plan, ask yourself, “Will this plan be the path to me achieving what I set out to do?”
The plan must include both sales and marketing actions. You simply can’t have one without the other. If all you do is sell without spending time researching the best prospects or the best approach, you will waste a lot of time and effort on people who likely are not a fit for your product or service. Likewise, if all you do is marketing research, and never go out to make a sale, well it’s easy to see where that will lead…no sales.
Marketing is the process of creating opportunities for sales. It’s important to remember that sales and marketing are two distinct actions. Marketing is the set of activities that help us find good potential clients. Marketing includes networking, internet research, sending newsletters, hosting webinars; any action that can put you in proximity to the people who have a need for your product or service.
Sales is the process of having conversations with people who have the possibility of buying your product. Sales involves talking with pre-qualified prospects, listening to their concerns, and creating a vision for how your product or service answers their concerns. Sales is not an intrusion. Sales is your opportunity to solve someone’s problem, and show how your company is the best choice now and in the future.
Sales and Marketing must both be scheduled in your calendar. You schedule dentist appointments and plane flights and you show up. Likewise, sales and marketing actions need to be firmly programmed into your calendar, and you have to show up! Just thinking about sales and marketing is not going to yield results. Those who spend time every day on sales and marketing are the ones who have the highest probability of delivering on their revenue and profit intentions.
We will delve deeper into sales and marketing plans in upcoming blogs. But don’t wait to take action. Start designing your sales and marketing plan today and finding where in your calendar those actions will show up. Because those who plan for success will be the ones who win the game of business.
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