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26Sep

How Your Sales Team Can Ruin Your Marketing Campaign

by Franco De Bonisin General Marketing 0 Comment(s)

Marketing is not only the money you spend on ads or the efforts you make to gain new customers by other means. Marketing is what happens when you’re not trying, when you’re being transparent and when there’s no script in place. But be warned, marketing can have a positive influence or negative influence based on how it is delivered…

It’s marketing when everything goes right on the flight to London. It’s also marketing when your people don’t respond after losing the suitcase that I checked-in.

It’s marketing when the smiling waiter appears with the soup. It’s also marketing when we can’t get served because he’s discussing his weekend with another waiter.

It’s marketing when my friend and I are talking about how the thing we bought from you improved our lives. It’s also marketing when the product does not work as described and I can’t get support.

It’s marketing when something goes wrong with my order. It’s also marketing when the person who answers the phone empathises with my problem and resolves it quickly and efficiently.

The above is something I read and adapted slightly (so I cannot claim this as entirely my own work), but when I read it, I had a profound realisation. Good customer service IS marketing, or at least it validates and enhances your marketing spend, while a single but pivotal person in your business can completely negate the spend on your marketing campaign!

I recently had two completely different experiences with sales people that highlight this beautifully. Let me outline the two scenarios (no company or individual’s names have been used to spare their blushes):

The Poor Experience:

I was looking to buy a new front door for my home. An ad for the company on a local TV channel prompted me to take action. I Googled “Front Door Suppliers” and there they were in the top 5 of page 1. Having seen the ad and because they are a national and ‘trusted’ brand I contacted them first. The sales guy came out and met with my wife during the day to measure up. He left us with a load of brochures and a few days later we received a very basic quote and when we followed up with further questions the responses were also very basic.

Despite this, the quote was fair and we decided to proceed. We therefore rang the sales guy back and told him we wanted to proceed. Let me be clear, we said “we want to go ahead with that order…” However, we needed a little help picking the exact door type, finish and other elements. We therefore asked if he would be available to come out to us some evening so we can finalise the exact spec.

His answer? “No”. He then proceeded to explain how he also has a family and that he did not work evenings. Obviously, I understand this, but his bluntness rather than the answer killed the deal. Had he said, “I could certainly do that, however I think you would find it even more beneficial to see the actual products in our showroom rather than picking out of a brochure and I can meet you there. The showroom is open every day from X to Y, so when shall I book you in for?”, I would have been more than willing to meet him at his premises, but not only did he not say that, he didn’t even mention the option (I only discovered they had a showroom later).

So this company spent money on TV ads, more money on Google Adwords and SEO, even more money on glossy, thick brochures and finally a massive amount of money on a big showroom, only to have a poor sales guy blow it at the final hurdle!

The Great Experience:

I was looking for some menu options for a client, they wanted something completely different and our usual suppliers didn’t fit the bill. I Googled and found a company in the US. I subsequently called them and the person who answered the phone was engaging and helpful and suggested that I should speak with one of their sales people. I was put through and when the sales person answered she knew what I was looking for and was ready to help. She then spent the next thirty minutes explaining every aspect and possible option to meet my client’s needs and outlined the cost-effective choices vs. the expensive options.

Not only did I get the information I needed I also learned a great deal (I never knew there was so much to menu covers!) The sales person made me feel 100% confident in the company’s knowledge and experience and she even explained that although they would not be considered the cheapest, they provided the best solution. A claim I had no problem believing.

The outcome is that armed with the options, the client made a decision and I got back to them and placed the order.

This means that the company’s spend on SEO to get the right ranking that made me click onto their website, was backed up by the individual’s attentiveness and professionalism.

Summary:

If you run a business or are responsible for marketing, you need to understand that EVERYONE in your business can either help or hinder your marketing efforts. From the receptionist who answers the phone to your sales and customer service staff, they all need to understand the need to be, at all times and no matter what is going in their personal lives, attentive, engaged and committed to your customers’ needs. Otherwise all your efforts and spend in attracting new customers could be wasted in a single phone call!

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