Thursday, August 11, 2011
There are hundreds upon hundreds of sales methodologies in the world. From the One-Minute Sales Person to Spin Selling. If you were boil them all together into one great big "keys to being a successful sales person" pot, it really comes down to just one thing - truly successful sales people have to be curious - about everything. My team often has to hear me expound on that very thing - in order to be successful, they have to be curious. They have to want to know more information about their customers than the next guy: information about their business, how they make money, their goals, their measurements of success, etc. We've been discussing this topic in detail within the Relationship Management team at ExactTarget.
The other day, it dawned on me that we need to ask the same of our customers as it relates to THEIR customers (their email subscribers) and their email marketing program. Are they curious?
- Do they want to know more about their email subscribers (data)?
- Do they want to know what is important to their subscribers (relevance)?
- Do they want to be able to use that information to gain increased conversion rates and make more money?
- Do they want to know what their email subscribers are doing in Facebook or Twitter?
- Do they want to know what those subscribers do online after opening an email?
- Do they want to be able to truly demonstrate the value of their interactive marketing program internally?
- Do they care?
As a consumer who works within this industry, I may be slightly jaded, but I am truly amazed everyday at how un-curious businesses are about me as a consumer. They don't ask me questions like "How frequently would I like to receive an email from them?" or "What are my interests?" They don't ask me about my satisfaction as a customer. They don't seem to be curious or pay attention to my email or online behavior: Did I open an email? Do I open every email? Do I ever click on links? Do I click on a link and then stop? Do I place something in a shopping cart and then abandon? Do they ask me why I didn't follow-through on a purchase? Do they ask me why I never open their emails?
I explain to my team that people want to tell their story. Businesses want to tell you how they tick, what matters most to them, why they have been successful, what challenges they have had, their hopes and their dreams for their business. As a sales person, you need to be curious enough to ask these questions.
As a marketer, you have to do the same thing with your email subscribers. Your subscribers want you to know more about them. Subscribers want to tell their stories or even better know that you are building a story about them based on their behaviors. For example, a certain retailer could write this story about me: Shelly likes getting our emails but definitely not everyday because she only opens a couple emails per month.
It's not hard, and it's not rocket science. You just need to be curious.