I am a programmer not a sales and marketing guy. I struggle with it, yet it is vital to running your own business. I spend a lot of time studying both sales and marketing. So much of what is out there is geared towards retail and not professional services. It was refreshing to see a book geared specifically towards professional services that challenges the traditional dogma around sales.
The book starts by applying a Design Thinking approach to sales and marketing. What exactly does that mean? It means focusing on your customers and their experience. Traditional sales is about marketing funnels and conversion rates and making x number of cold calls. Most of it is centered around what you have to do as the marketer/salesman. When we center around the customer instead and their buying journey then it radically changes the way we think about the process.
The book lays out a 7 step process that prospects go through before they become a client. It’s not really a linear process though. It’s more circular. Prospects circle around your business and build a sense of who you are, what you offer, if you can help them, if they trust you, etc. Then when the timing and budget are right they are ready for the sale.
A large portion of the book covers how traditional marketing gets it wrong and explaining the 7 steps in the process. The last section covers how to apply the 7 steps. The key to application lies in figuring out which of the 7 steps are the biggest bottleknecks for your particular business and then working to address those. It’s just a very different and refreshing way of looking at sales and marketing. Highly recommended for any consultants out there.