I have been in marketing and sales my entire life. It might be better to say that sales and marketing are a part of all of our lives; and so I have worked hard to understand what general techniques or principles are most effective. In all the different types of work I have done, I have been able to construct a series of well proven principles that seem to be true in all forms of marketing.
Today I want to discuss the principle of uniqueness. I have observed that sales techniques tend to be effective for as long as they are unique. Or, better worded; techniques are good for as long as the customer doesn’t expect them. When training sales reps in a variety of industries I also pose the question, “What is your customer expecting you to say, and also what is the last thing your customer would expect you to say?” For a few years I worked as a door to door salesman of Dish Network TV. After time testing a variety of approaches I found that my most effective approach tended to be, “Hi, my name is Jacob and I am a salesman. Do you still have cable?”
This approach was effective because it was the last thing that any customer actually expected too come from my mouth. Now as my experience in Internet Marketing is evolving I am starting to recognize the dying techniques that people are using. Don’t get me wrong, there are techniques in use right now that are still bringing in new people but they are dying out. Its time for the online sales process to evolve and I am looking for the new innovations but not finding them.
The age of sales letters, Ebook giveaways, and auto responders is dwindling. The systems and techniques have become far too common place. There are now sales-letters selling sales-letters, giveaways of giveaway systems, and auto-responders to promote auto-responder systems. The Mike Dillard ripple is beginning to die off and the best of the best are trying to discover something new. Recent attempts to innovate with subtle changes to include social media networks or techniques have brought little to no innovation at all. All of this is still working today because the methods are still mostly new to most of the world. (Its hard for those of us involved in internet marketing to remember that people outside the industry don’t see and hear it everyday.)
The key is in breaking patterns. Effective marketing approaches, ad headlines, and videos break our normal patterns. People have to pay attention and getting someone to do that is almost impossible. You have to disrupt their comfort zone.
ACTION: All sales systems in all industries require this constant process of innovation and change. Ask yourself what your customers are starting to recognize as the standard sales pitch. Ask yourself what your customers would not expect to hear.
Jacob S Paulsen