Marketing is a big word. Advertising is just one part of your marketing program that includes your brand, look and feel, company culture, how you take your product to market, your location, employee uniforms - all the way to what you say when answering the phone. What is Marketing? Marketing is everything it takes to sell your product or service. Marketing is “sales.” The sooner you realize that every person in your organization is a salesperson, the sooner you will be on your way to increased revenues, referrals and customer retention.
Most people don’t want to be in “sales.” This term tends to have a negative reaction. But why should it? “Nothing happens until somebody sells something” – an old quote from Arthur H. Motley, and still very true today. All of your employees rely on your company selling something, whether directly or down the line. So each employee needs to be aware of his or her place in the sales process and marketing cycle.
It starts with the person answering the phone. This sets the tone for the type of company you are, your culture and your knowledge. The person on the phone should be interested and interesting, well spoken and knowledgeable about your company and offerings. If it is the job of your receptionist to set appointments and your company is an appointment-based business, that receptionist could be the most important person in your organization. Invest the time and effort in training. Create a call tracking system that tracks the quality of leads and closing ratios to give you a good cost-per-inquiry, cost-per-appointment and potential lost revenue due to low closing ratios.
Do you employ customer service representatives that help customers or answer questions? Do you have wait staff or hostesses? How about a valet parking cars out front? Each one of these customer interactions is a selling point for your business, if not for the present transaction then for repeat business. Each positive moment a consumer experiences at your business leads to the current sale, repeat business, and a trail of online reviews.
All businesses will experience great employees and not-so-great employees. Try to help the ones not embracing the “salesperson” image to do a better job of selling your business. If they can’t do it, then move on and find someone that will. It is just too important as any break in the chain that leads to sales will cost you business.