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What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Sales & Marketing


                                                                                  Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash


The Truth About Sales & Marketing

Sales and marketing are the backbone, or the lifeblood, of any successful business. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, understanding the ins and outs of sales and marketing is crucial for staying ahead in today's competitive landscape. 

However, I believe there is a certain way you need to approach sales and marketing to not only reach your revenue goals but most importantly to fulfill your business’ mission.

Crafting Your Marketing and Sales Plan

I love operations and planning, especially when it comes to sales and marketing because it shows that the business is serious about fulfilling their mission. The reason I say that is because no successful business is created without either a problem to solve or pathway to achieve a dream or goal. 

So, if you truly believe that your business will help people solve a problem or provide a way to achieve their dreams or accomplish a goal, why wouldn’t you want to develop an intentional plan to show people what that looks like for them? 

Also, it shows your employees that you believe in the business and are serious about success. That gives everyone confidence and energy to fully commit to the mission as well instead of always looking for another opportunity.

Think of your marketing and sales plan as the roadmap to success. It outlines how you'll reach and persuade your target customers to buy your products or services. It's where you define your unique value proposition, identify your competitive advantage, and set realistic revenue goals. Simply put, it is the foundation upon which all your efforts will be built. If there is no plan there will not be sustainable growth. 



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Get to Know Your Customers

Like I just mentioned, your business either solves a problem or helps achieve a dream or a goal for someone. So, you had a certain type of person in mind from the very beginning of your business idea, right? 

Now, simply take more time to really understand their wants, needs, and pain points. In fact, you may be that person! A lot of businesses are born out of something that you wanted to have or needed that you couldn’t find in the current marketplace. 

Either way, learn what motivates your potential customer to make a purchase decision? What challenges are they facing? By truly understanding your customers, you can tailor your marketing messages and sales processes to resonate with them on a deep level so that it will make total sense to do business with you. 

To do this well you need to research well and listen well. Whether you're launching a new product or expanding into a new market, conducting thorough market research will give you the information you need to make informed choices and stay ahead of the curve.

If you do this well then you won’t have to “sell” anyone. You will simply “connect” people to your solution. By the way, no one likes to be “sold” anyways. So, stop trying to convince everyone that they need your product or service.

Analyzing the Competition

To succeed in business, you need to know who you're up against. Analyzing your competitors, as well as the broader marketplace and industry trends, is crucial for developing a winning marketing strategy. 

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself.

  • What are your competitors doing well? 
  • Where are they falling short? 

In my college and professional baseball experience, as a player and a coach, I had to help create game plans based on the competition. I was in charge of gathering data for our upcoming opponents. Then, I worked with the other staff to analyze it for strength and weakness patterns so that we could create a game plan around it to beat them. 

The same approach can and should be applied to business. By studying your competition, you can identify gaps in the market and position your business for success. After all you have to show people why you are different or better than everyone else around you or you will be forgotten. 

Highlighting Product Benefits

In today's hyper-connected world, consumers have access to more information than ever before. That's why it's essential to clearly communicate the benefits of your products or services. 

So, pose questions like these to your team that you probably ask yourself when deciding to purchase something. 

  • How will we improve the lives of our customers? 
  • What problem are we solving for our customers?
  • Why should they do business with us instead of our competitors?

Donald Miller is a memorist turned marketing and business development guru. The first phase of his business is called StoryBrand. He created a 7-part sales and marketing messaging framework around the seven truths about storytelling found in every story ever written, including many stories in the Bible. 

The framework helps business owners invite their customers into a story. Specifically, a story about your business’ products and services. Not by telling your customer who you are and how great you are. Instead, instantly connecting on an emotional level with their problems or desires. Then, showing them that you understand and care about them. Finally, you share with them that you have a solution that will help them. After all, no one has time for something that will not help them improve their life or fulfill a mission that they are trying to accomplish. 

By connecting the dots, with empathy, between your offerings and the value they provide, you'll make it easier for customers to see why they should choose you over the competition. 

In other words, they will want to be a part of your business’ story because you position your customers as the “hero” of the story and your product as the “guide” to the solution that they have been looking for. 

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Building Strong Relationships

At the end of the day, business is all about relationships not just transactions. Of course every business needs transactions, everyone knows that. However, people also work hard for their money and they want to spend it with businesses that understand them and take the time to connect with them. Ultimately, people are looking for a business they can trust to deliver the best possible experience to them. 

If you take the time to identify your target audience and get to know the key decision-makers within that group by building strong, authentic relationships, you will create loyal customers and earn repeat business and referrals. Whether it's through personalized marketing efforts or excellent customer service, prioritize building connections with your audience.

This is the beautiful part about business. You meet great people that you can serve. Don’t treat them as a means to an end. Work to serve them well and improve their lives just as you want businesses to do for you! If you don’t serve well then you will not have a business very long. 

So, go the extra mile, build trust by always seeking to understand and connect with your customers in a relational way so that they will want to do business with you and tell others about you. 

Now What?

So, master the art of sales and marketing by crafting a solid plan, really understanding your customers, analyzing the competition, connecting with your customer’s desires, and building authentic relationships.

If you do these five things well then you'll position your business for growth and long-term success without having to “sell” your products or services, but simply connect your customer's problem with your solution. 

So, roll up your sleeves, dive in, and watch your business thrive!

Enjoy the process.

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