Positioning: Relax, the sale is yours.

By | January 30, 2013

By Chuck Sink

Marketing is every business activity directed toward selling a product/service and work sweatsuccessfully delivering it into customers’ hands. Marketing drives sales. There is no business until a sale is made and that’s why every CEO is his or her company’s chief of sales. Sleepless nights are the result of insufficient new business flowing through the pipeline.

Most sales meetings in the average company are dreadful. Many average companies still follow the conventional wisdom of working the numbers and the numbers are NEVER high enough. A typical scenario is the CEO or VP of sales leading the meeting with vague threats of the unthinkable; your jobs may not exist next quarter unless…

 

One or two salespeople control their smirks knowing they’ve already exceeded goals while the other 80 percent of the team desperately hold poker faces, fighting the fear that furrows the brow, lest their weakness show through. “How many calls are you making per day? What are you doing to qualify your appointments? How many serious leads did you get from that schmooze fest you call a networking event? What’s your average closing ratio? We actually lost money on your last two clients! They aren’t the right fit for us.” Let me the hell out of there!

The accusations, complaints and criticisms of the average boss toward his sales team ought to be leveled right back at him if such an attitude is his. After all, that selling model died about 20 years ago, so shame on our poor old hypothetical boss. But meetings like this are still takingpositioningplace out there and it’s too bad when there’s a better way to sell. It’s called positioning and it isn’t new. It’s many decades old, in fact.

What if the boss was instead focused on positioning his company’s brand so customers knew it was the easiest choice to make in the crowded market?

Positioning is essentially how much space your brand occupies in your prospect’s mind relative to your business or product category. The more you win the battle for the mind, the more sales you will make because your prospects will be sold before a single call is made to them.

Effective positioning differentiates your brand with relevance combined with emotion. The perception of quality is higher, therefore the value is greater than other brands.

If customers and potential customers want the Apple i-Product instead of the Microsoft or Android device, they will wait longer, travel farther and pay more for the Apple. It happens every day. If the thrill seeking driver is already drooling over the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the Chevy Camaro ZL1 won’t even be given a test drive.

Sales nostalgia can never bring back the effectiveness of cold calling, follow up and closing – ever!  So it’s high time every CEO wakes up to the positioning model and starts directing his team to communicate his brand’s authentic value using the myriad digital tools available to everyone – including answering the phone.

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