Slogans Attract, Stories Engage, Sales pay Bills.

We like slogans, politicians, news editors and marketers especially like them because they attract attention, they are memorable and repeatable. They can be provocative or reassuring, divisive or unifying, and in the digitally obsessed world of short attention spans they rule, for example: The rule of six, Get Brexit done, Build the wall, Fake news, Every issue in Every issue, Just Do It, It’s the real thing.

We love stories, no matter how old or young we are, we love a good story, and we love our story tellers. Whether that’s William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Edin Blyton, JK Rowing, Springsteen, Christ, or Pixar. We engage with a good story and a good storyteller – it’s part of our nature and adds to our sense of wellbeing, belonging and community.

There was a time all things (product, quality, service, price) being equal when you could sell something with just a slogan (name, brand, purpose), then you needed a good story as proof of slogan delivery (performance, credibility, authenticity). The marketing campaign may be to attract and engage but the ultimate purpose should be to sell more (of your) tickets, tins, cars, cans, software, services –  in short to pay the bills, (and the dividends). Yet somewhere along the way it seems that the clear sales call to action (buy me) has been lost in the creativity of the storytelling or consciously air brushed out for being too vulgar.

Sales pay the bills and when the government stops paying the bills for the covid disruption to our businesses, we are going to have work harder and smarter, to sell our products and services to pay our bills.

Converting the story into a sale (and a sale isn’t a sale until the money is in the bank) often comes down to the substance of your strategy, your perception of sales, the detail of your sales plan and the skill sets of your salespeople to action the plan.

“People don’t like being sold too but they love to buy” Jeffrey Gitomer

The UK’s largest recruitment firm Reed reported in July that job vacancies have fallen dramatically, but there had been an increase in the demand for sales professionals, suggesting companies are trying to hire their way out of the current situation.

The cheaper alternative and sometimes better solution is to train exisiting staff; but the focus of the training may have to change to reflect the changing needs of the market, whether that’s online, in print or in person.

Accompanying salespeople (just as I was when being trained and did when training others) is a great way to find out what is missing in an individual or in a process. Sadly, I am no longer surprised by how many salespeople do not ask for the order.

How fit for the future is your sales process?

Which just leaves me to ask for the order. If you need help reviewing your sales plan, or refreshing your sales people or reinventing your sales process call me; and if I can help I will and if I can’t I might be able to introduce to someone who can.

Since 2013 I have been helping ambitious SMEs with their Strategic and Leadership challenges.

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Posted in Business Growth, Marketing, SALES, Strategic Planning
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