1. In order to ensure a sale, the prospective customer/client must:
  2. need the product/service; or
  3. want the product/service; or
  4. both need and want the product/service.

It is important to note that a prospective customer may take action on a want which is currently affordable, rather than a more important need which he cannot afford and which he considers postponable. In other words, current wants can be stronger than long-term needs.

  1. A good presentation should make the prospective customer not only see the advantages of acquiring the product or using the service that is being offered, but also the cost of not doing so. Because most people try to avoid ‘unnecessary expenditure,’ if the prospective customer decides that the current situation is something he can live with, they are not likely to make the proposed purchase. It is therefore the responsibility of the marketer/salesperson to make a compelling case for the product or service. Additionally, if the prospective customer decides that the value of the product or service is less than what he is being asked to pay, the sale is unlikely to occur.
  1. Advances in technology mean that prospective customers can now do most of their research on products/services they are interested in online or even from other sources. This means that the marketer/salesperson ‘s role has now shifted from that of being a provider of detailed information about their products/services. His main responsibility is to uncover the prospective customer’s specific needs or actionable wants through effective questioning and listening, and to show how the product/service can solve the problems, challenges and other pain points faced by the prospective customer. Remember that the relevance of the product/service is directly related to its capacity to do this. No matter how good or valuable the product/service appears to you, in most cases it cannot sell itself. Your input is thus the major determinant of the success of your product/service, and ultimately your own success.
  1. The multiple-touch strategy recognizes that it may take at least five attempts to get through to a prospective customer or to set up a meeting, but persistence on your part may pay off. When you eventually get to meet the prospective customer, do not guilt-trip them, because this will only show how amateurish you are. It is much better to express your appreciation for the meeting, and get on with the business on hand.
  1. The power of a marketing communication refers to its ability to evoke or elicit a response from  the recipient. The sender hopes that the recipient will respond favourably to the message, and act on it either immediately or in the near future. Most marketers will naturally look forward to a quick, favourable reaction, although  this is an unrealistic expectation because the preferred outcome i.e. a sale, will only occur if certain conditions are present e.g.an urgent need, a strong want, affordability etc. In the absence of an immediate decision on the part of the recipient, a key quality of an effective marketing message is its residual value i.e. whether it has sufficient impact to be stored internally or externally by the recipient to be used in the future. This is normally related to the message’s perceived value from the recipient’s viewpoint.
  2. Expertise and time, not resources, are the biggest assets in the hands of a

successful marketer or salesperson. The true value of anybody working in these    areas is measured by what he spends most of his time doing. His toolkit should include both hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are the ’technical’ or ‘scientific’ skills which every professional should have in order to practise in any field. Soft skills are complimentary attributes which in many cases can mean the difference between success and failure, since they highlight differences between excellence and mediocrity.

P

CREATING CUSTOMER VALUE THROUGH PROACTIVE MARKETING  AND SELLING             by Patrick M. Paradza

  1. In order to ensure a sale, the prospective customer/client must:
  2. need the product/service; or
  3. want the product/service; or
  4. both need and want the product/service.

It is important to note that a prospective customer may take action on a want which is currently affordable, rather than a more important need which he cannot afford and which he considers postponable. In other words, current wants can be stronger than long-term needs.

  1. A good presentation should make the prospective customer not only see the advantages of acquiring the product or using the service that is being offered, but also the cost of not doing so. Because most people try to avoid ‘unnecessary expenditure,’ if the prospective customer decides that the current situation is something he can live with, they are not likely to make the proposed purchase. It is therefore the responsibility of the marketer/salesperson to make a compelling case for the product or service. Additionally, if the prospective customer decides that the value of the product or service is less than what he is being asked to pay, the sale is unlikely to occur.
  1. Advances in technology mean that prospective customers can now do most of their research on products/services they are interested in online or even from other sources. This means that the marketer/salesperson ‘s role has now shifted from that of being a provider of detailed information about their products/services. His main responsibility is to uncover the prospective customer’s specific needs or actionable wants through effective questioning and listening, and to show how the product/service can solve the problems, challenges and other pain points faced by the prospective customer. Remember that the relevance of the product/service is directly related to its capacity to do this. No matter how good or valuable the product/service appears to you, in most cases it cannot sell itself. Your input is thus the major determinant of the success of your product/service, and ultimately your own success.
  1. The multiple-touch strategy recognizes that it may take at least five attempts to get through to a prospective customer or to set up a meeting, but persistence on your part may pay off. When you eventually get to meet the prospective customer, do not guilt-trip them, because this will only show how amateurish you are. It is much better to express your appreciation for the meeting, and get on with the business on hand.
  1. The power of a marketing communication refers to its ability to evoke or elicit a response from  the recipient. The sender hopes that the recipient will respond favourably to the message, and act on it either immediately or in the near future. Most marketers will naturally look forward to a quick, favourable reaction, although  this is an unrealistic expectation because the preferred outcome i.e. a sale, will only occur if certain conditions are present e.g.an urgent need, a strong want, affordability etc. In the absence of an immediate decision on the part of the recipient, a key quality of an effective marketing message is its residual value i.e. whether it has sufficient impact to be stored internally or externally by the recipient to be used in the future. This is normally related to the message’s perceived value from the recipient’s viewpoint.
  2. Expertise and time, not resources, are the biggest assets in the hands of a

successful marketer or salesperson. The true value of anybody working in these    areas is measured by what he spends most of his time doing. His toolkit should include both hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are the ’technical’ or ‘scientific’ skills which every professional should have in order to practise in any field. Soft skills are complimentary attributes which in many cases can mean the difference between success and failure, since they highlight differences between excellence and mediocrity.

Patrick M. Paradza is a member of the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe. He is a marketing strategist and sales trainer. He can be contacted at 0780-248 095 or patrick.paradza@mrzconsult.co.zw       

Patrick M. Paradza is a member of the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe. He is a marketing strategist and sales trainer. He can be contacted at 0780-248 095 or patrick.paradza@mrzconsult.co.zw