As we get ready to roll in the new year, selling digital marketing solutions will continue to be a top priority and requirement for success.
To say there is one thing that will influence your success or failure at selling digital marketing solutions is a fairly bold statement… and I am going to make it.
Pitching the "Next Great Thing" vs. Finding Ideal Prospects
Pete Pitcher and Connie Consultant both work for Mel Manager at Digital Solutions Inc. but have different approaches.
This is Pete Pitcher's approach:
- Pete Pitcher learns about one new digital product each month that he can sell. He approaches new prospects and current clients with a one-sheet on why his new digital product is a perfect solution.
- Before Pete can finish pitching the new product to his list of 75 targets, his manager holds a meeting to discuss another great digital product. Pete is so excited because he feels that all the businesses that buy this new product will have great results.
- Pete’s plan is to approach all the targets on the list that didn’t call or email him back last month with this new, latest, and greatest digital offering.
This is Connie Consultant's approach:
- Connie Consultant has the same digital products to sell as Pete. Connie chooses to focus on nine high-priority target accounts that meet her Target Business profile, and then she focuses on getting appointments with each one.
- She gets her appointments by giving prospects a reason to meet with her by demonstrating empathy, expertise, and problem-solving capabilities. She rarely mentions up front the new digital products she has available.
- After each meeting, she gathers and sorts all of the information she’s learned about her prospect and focuses on developing a solution to address the assignment she and the prospect have agreed upon.
- She then determines the best solution to drive the results her prospect expects, considering all of the capabilities she has at her disposal, including the new product her manager just rolled out.
Connie takes this approach with each of her targets. In a few weeks, she has met with five of these ideal prospects and has presented solutions for each.
Who Does Better: Connie or Pete?
Mel Manager decides to reward the salesperson with the best sales activity and new business revenue and calls both Connie and Pete into the conference room. Who do you think will receive Mel’s recognition?
If you answered Connie, then you guessed correctly. Not just because it’s what I think would happen but because it’s what does happen… all the time.
I could easily have substituted at least a dozen real names for our fictitious Pete and Connie. I’ve heard this story from managers again and again over the years about salespeople who focus on selling solutions to win more business compared to those who choose to pitch products. And not only do they win more business, but that business is healthier – those accounts spend more and have higher retention rates than those who are pitched and buy that single product.
It Comes Down to How You Use Digital Marketing
Digital marketing comes in a number of different platforms—from email to display to search, social media, and more. Every digital product can deliver results… it comes down to how you use it.
So, if you focus only on the products you have to sell rather than the solutions you can deliver, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Ask all the Pete Pitchers out there. Those guys are useful only when they happen to have the digital product that fits the previously devised marketing plan.
Digital hasn’t stopped evolving; the technology, data, and inventory available will continue to grow and change. The Connies of the world are much less at the mercy of specific digital products… because they have the expertise behind how to make digital work. That’s where success lies.
*Editor's Note: This blog has been updated since its original posting.