Have you ever heard a salesperson say he closed a deal thanks to his company’s fantastic marketing? Neither have I. Unfortunately, marketing gets a medal only for deals that are closed entirely over digital channels, without any mediation by the sales staff. In all other cases, “everything is done” by the sales personnel. Without them . . . well, when I’m selling, there’s always some kind of drama going on. Even when there actually isn’t any. Just ask Miha.
The warmer days have encouraged me to buy new outdoor furniture. Ads had nothing to do with it.
Yesterday I went and bought some new outdoor furniture. At the store. I refused to do it online. Those who know me in person know why I want to actually sit down in a chair before I buy it. After spending an afternoon browsing the internet, I chose the furniture I liked. Even though I could have ordered it online, I wanted to see it in person. Not just see it, I wanted to sit down in the chair and feel the material. If this set is going to last as long as the old one, it’s important to know what I’ll be sitting on and what individual pieces feel like.
What was the salesperson actually able to influence in my case?
I definitely made one salesperson’s day yesterday. He probably even bragged to someone about how nobody else earned a grand faster than him that day. I spent precisely 20 seconds on trying out the new set. Then I went to find the salesperson and had only one question (or request) for him. I wanted to have the old furniture (or what remains of it) taken away when the new set is delivered. When I inquired about a discount, the shop assistant immediately offered me free chair pads. Because both of my wishes were apparently already included in the offer, he had an “easy” customer whom he persuaded in no time. This is what it looks like when you have competent sales staff. 😉
As long as marketing and sales aren’t combined into a single measurable process, marketing will always be the loser. Even though this process most often passes from the online world (marketing) into the physical world (sales), they have to be connected.
So how did this retailer’s marketing or online store do yesterday? They paid for Google AdWords again and, thanks to this ad, obtained a visitor who ended up in their online store by typing in the keywords “outdoor furniture.” They know precisely what he was looking for and how long he spent in the online store. But eventually he left. The transaction wasn’t carried out. He didn’t even leave any other traces, such as an e-mail or phone number. Something went wrong.Why does marketing come across as a loser in the eyes of the sales personnel and the management? Click To Tweet
Even though they set up a new online store, advertise it, focus on the material presented, and spend time on describing the products, the sales still take place in a real store. In the physical world. It seems that they need another optimization: they will have to improve the product descriptions, offer additional discounts, spend money on additional advertising, etc. They’ll hire a new agency. Maybe they’ll even stop using the online store because they’ve already tried out three different agencies, but the results are always the same.
Do you ever wonder what determines your purchase? And how we decide to look into one specific retailer and not a different one?
In the case of my outdoor furniture the salesperson felt like a great victor and marketing like the biggest loser which statistically only displays failures, but I know I would never have considered looking for outdoor furniture at this store had Google not brought it to my attention. I’d never even thought about this retailer before. But because it had a sufficiently large range of products on offer and the site was well organized by category, with excellent photos and product descriptions, transparent prices and purchasing conditions, info on inventory at each sales center, and also provided the opportunity to check out the product (in person) before making the purchase, it won.
It also had the AdWords, I must admit. I clicked the ad, not the organic hit, even though it was on the first page. I don’t know why. At that moment, I probably thought I’d find the selection of products I wanted to check out faster this way. I admit that I thought that if I clicked the organic hit, I’d be served some “bullshit” about maintaining, assembling, and selecting the outdoor furniture, whereas I was interested in products with specific characteristics. Yes, the company also provided information on the chairs’ width and bearing capacity. They were the only one. And to me this seemed pretty important when choosing the right furniture.We do the research on the internet, but still make the final purchase in person. Why? Click To Tweet
A comfortable buying experience is what counts. This single factor sometimes makes us willing to pay more for something.
Another thing seems important to me. Even at the store I was thinking about how someone was considering himself a winner and how someone would be again declared a loser at the next marketing and sales meeting. At one point I even considered going home to purchase the thing online, just to show support to my fellow marketing colleagues. But I changed my mind . . . because I’m lazy. It was much easier to simply take out my credit card and enter the pin number than open a new account in the online store and copy the data from the credit card. I was already there, after all. Sorry, marketing.