What a frying pan teaches us about sales and marketing.

Many marketing agencies will convince you that marketing is some dark magic, weaved only by a select few. Many will convince you that only they have the answers… if only that were true.

A good friend, mentor and colleague once told me that marketing is applied common sense, and in many ways it is. There are a number of common sense principles, which you can apply to start making a difference. That said, I guess you could apply that principle to anything, after all, setting up a new enterprise scale network infrastructure could be applied common sense, but its best left to the experts.

However in this blog, I am going to try and communicate some simple concepts about marketing and sales for you.  I have selected 3 everyday “taken for granted” household objects, to demonstrate some key areas for consideration.

The Frying Pan

Fact: The word pan derives from the old english panna

Like a frying pan, your business needs to warm and cook its prospects. You wouldn’t throw a sausage into a frying pan, leave it for a few seconds, remove and eat it. Firstly, it would taste pretty disgusting and secondly, you may find yourself some hours later, leaning over a bucket with a somewhat dodgy stomach. Many companies forget that like food, customers need time before they are ready to buy. You can’t just send an email or give them a call and expect them to be “chomping at the bit” to send you a purchase order. You need to nurture and engage with them, much like cooking that sausage before eating. It is commonly accepted that prospects need between 7-11 interactions before being sales ready. When the time is right, and you have looked after them the right way, they will be sales ready.

The Lightbulb

Fact: Due to metabolic reactions, humans are bioluminescent but our glow is 1,000 times weaker than the human eye can register.

If like me, in the small hours of a morning, you need to venture downstairs to get some fluid into your desiccated body, you may well have had the lazy moment. You know the one, where you believe that you have some super power, which allows you to see in the dark, after all, it’s your home. This short lived journey into the realm of marvel or DC often ends with a broken glass, stubbed toe and the sticky residue of spilled orange squash on the worktop. For your customers, you need to turn the light on. Allow them to clearly see why they need to buy from you, give them the information and support they need, to help them make a purchasing decision (even if it’s not from you). Work to be seen as the expert and the shining light within your industry.

The Door Stop

No facts here but check out the ZX81 doorstop here.

Having children, you go through various stages, the one where you fear everything around the house and especially small trapped fingers, after a few years, you enter the door slamming stage, that time when they are somehow aggrieved that you would not spend the economy of a small country on the latest pair of designer trainers. The answer is the door stop. It simple in design, and effective in task. It stops both the trip to A&E and that loud banging of angry teens. Does your business have a doorstop? Do you have any strategies in place to stop your customers from exiting? I have met many companies who are so wrapped up in the drive to gain new customers, they forget that they already have some. Spend time getting to know your customers, create relationships and bonds. Go to your customers to measure your performance, and find out what you can do to help improve your service offering. You will be surprised with just a little bit of thought and strategy, how you can retain and even up-sell into your customer base, creating stronger long term relationships.

There are many simple and cost effective things we can do as a business to help grow and retain customers, but sometimes, it is the simplest things that get forgotten, in a world full of noise and pressures.