The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Business

June 22, 2013

DAVID MASTOVICH | People sell, not brochures and websites

JOHNSTOWN — New technology leads to better data and more sophisticated analysis.

Sales processes evolve with an increased focus on understanding customers and prospects.

Universities offer majors in sales and sales management.

Yet far too many so-called sales people, particularly those in health-care referral source marketing positions, still think that brochures, websites and other marketing items are what sell their products or services. Or they don’t realize that buying someone’s food is not marketing.

How can this be? It seems obvious to true sales practitioners that customers buy solutions from people. They don’t buy based on a brochure or a website. I’m not talking about purchasing a piece of

furniture, item of clothing or grill set from Amazon. We can buy things like that with a couple of clicks online. But when someone has a pain point and needs a solution,

they aren’t going to buy based on a leave behind or from a website.

I’m not minimizing the importance of marketing collaterals, websites, mobile marketing, social media or traditional media vehicles. Each can be important to a true integrated marketing strategy. I’m talking about selling to prospects and up-selling existing customers.

Marketers trying to close business need to build and maintain quality relationships. They need to make it about “them” – their prospects and customers. Ask open-ended, fact- and emotion-based questions. Shut up and listen. Needs match. Deliver what they promise.

They need to show that they are there for customers and prospects, not just trying to hit their numbers.

Brochures and websites can be part of the process. But without real precall prep,

ongoing relationship building, asking questions, actively listening and matching needs, those “nice” and “cool” brochures, websites and other marketing tools won’t make much of an impact on the

bottom line.

David M. Mastovich is president of MASSolutions Inc., which focuses on improving the bottom line for clients through creative selling, messaging and PR solutions.

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