OTHER ITA SITES:
An Often Overlooked Strategy for Getting Your Foot in the Door
Most companies are constantly seeking efficient and cost effective marketing and promotions strategies. It’s likely they are also seeking strategies to increase sales through obtaining key information. Regardless of the industry, almost everyone has heard or read arguments saying sales and marketing are separate, while at other times hearing and reading they are interconnected.
The fact is that you have to market your product or business in order to find prospects to sell to. On the other hand, your level of professionalism as a salesperson will directly impact your marketing message. Simply put, everything you do is a part of your marketing. Without effective marketing many people won’t know what you are selling. The two go hand in hand.
In the process of selling you must be able to address the question most prospects will ask: “What can you do for me?” This question can be answered by the content of your marketing material as well as your responses while meeting with a client.
While you can tell your prospects and customers how absolutely wonderful you are and all you can do for them, an even more effective strategy is for someone else to “blow your horn.” A customer who is willing to answer that question for your prospect oftentimes adds to your effectiveness and credibility in the sales process.
One of the best ways to do this is with written customer testimonials. Testimonials can be very effective in positioning your product or service and may give that extra little push when a potential client is trying to decide on whether or not they will be doing business with you.
The easiest way to get a testimonial is to do a great job. The second easiest way is to ask for it. When a customer or client tells you how happy they are with what you have done ask them if they would be willing to put that in a letter.
It is a good idea to have a cross section of testimonials you can use in your sales and marketing process. This way, regardless of your clients’ situation, you have a testimonial that will address their needs.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Asking for a testimonial is not arrogant or egotistical. When you go above and beyond, most people are willing to let others know how much they appreciate you or your product.
A short time ago my most recent book was released. Myself and my co-authors have enjoyed increased daily sales with 101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door. Although many people are telling us how fun, creative and useful the book is, I knew if we could get testimonials from readers we would be able to use them in our marketing and promotions efforts.
I sent an email out to a few dozen folks who had purchased the book asking for written feedback. Within minutes I began receiving testimonials. Here two of the dozens I received:
“I was pleasantly surprised reading 101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door. I was so impressed that I am requiring my sales staff to read it and we are getting together to discuss how we can implement some of these ideas into our marketing campaigns. Great job!”
“101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door was full of great ideas to separate sales people from the ordinary. This is a must have book for those that want to be remembered and stand apart from the ordinary sales person or marketing company. This book has been referred back to often and will be a permanent addition to our business library. Thank you for putting these ideas into a book.”
What Craig and Michele have said is a greater testament to a potential buyer than me telling them how great the book is. And notice what it is doing for them… their testimony is added visibility for their company. A win/win situation.
Although testimonials are great to use, keep in mind that they do not replace the simple act of asking potential clients for the business. Testimonials are simply another key aspect of an effective success strategy.
Copyright © 2004 by Kathleen Gage
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