I will say that the defining moment in my career was when I learned to develop my own leads. I started in a retail business and really did well. I worked for a family owned business, and made a lot of money selling musical instruments. It was a good experience in a lot of ways, but unfortunately gave me a false sense of confidence in other ways. See I thought because I was doing so well at closing customers when they came into the store that I must really know a lot about marketing, business, and growth. It wasn’t until I started my own company that I quickly learned sales is a completely different animal than marketing. Sales is the rapport building, product training, and client trust that you must have to move a good, product, or service. HOWEVER, marketing is the ability to find qualified leads, and then put them in front of the sales person, or process to become a potential prospect.
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Many people enter into starting their own business, or career assuming that because they are trust worthy, experienced, and know how to communicate that they will be an instant business success. While these attributes are essential for success in business, you have to first have someone to speak to. This is where effective marketing is essential. One of the first things you have to have is a list of leads that could potentially want your goods, services, or product. A good customer list, or business list that are filtered by certain demographical criteria will be key to reaching your sales goals. Otherwise you could be trying to proverbially sell ice to Eskimos as they say.
The second thing you will need is a good delivery method to reach this list. Some folks like mailers, email, or even tele-phone. I personally am a fan of the phone, and email. I think using these two delivery methods in concert with a well crafted message and call to action can be highly effective, efficient, and wildly profitable. Snail mail by the virtue of its name is too slow for my taste. Many of our clients can download a list in our store today, and be calling them to set appointments with in 24 hours. Calling on these clients can also be automated with a rob0-dialer, or auto dialer that will really get some fast response.
The 3rd thing I think any sales professional, or entrepreneur should consider is automation. The greatest problem in business I’ve ever had is literally having more prospects than I could handle at once. This is where digital tools, and software can really help you scale your business beyond your wildest dreams. But there is one other thing that before you can really take off in any of this must have. You have to have knowledge. At the end of the day you can build a fighter plan that can go faster, hit more targets, and do it in less time than anyone has ever seen, but you got to know how to fly it.
The best money you will ever spend is on yourself. If you’ve never invested some money into sharpening your marketing and sales skill than let me recommend it. I can say for every $1 I’ve ever put into myself for learning my trade, it has come back to me multiple times. Coaching and consulting isn’t easy, and it isn’t cheap, but it is the most cost effective investment you will ever make into your future.