By Nick Terrenzi

Sales competence, believe it or not, must start with marketing.

Information Overload
One fact that I think is missed by some marketing and salespeople today is that prospects don’t go online to be sold—they go there simply to find information. Because plentiful information is available online, many prospects have made at least a partial purchasing decision before they ever talk to a salesperson.
When you’re online, how many times are you asked for your information—name, email address, and so on? How often do you provide this information? I’m guessing not very often. It’s true for everyone. People are so inundated with advertising and spam that they’ll just sail right on by providing any information which might result in that company reaching back to them.
UNLESS…there is an additional factor that will keep them there.
Establishing Trust
With the insane glut of information available online, a market of distrust has been created. How competent must you be to overcome it?
The first thing you must do is establish real credibility in your industry. You need to establish trust through the information and advice you’re providing, trust in your company, products, and services.
As we’ve covered in our blogs and training materials many times, a salesperson must, before the sales process can go anywhere, establish trust. It is trust, established and maintained, that will ultimately carry a deal through to a close. But as briefly touched on in an earlier blog in this series, a degree of trust must be established before the prospect meets or talks to a salesperson. This is the trust established by marketing.
As most of us know, keeping customers comes about through service. The same holds for your prospects. Through your marketing materials—collateral, blogs, articles, and videos—you must service prospects with the information and advice you’re providing.
Boosting Salesperson Competence
This level of marketing excellence establishes future trust in your salespeople. Or, put another way, it creates competence for your salespeople that they would otherwise have to create for themselves.
A salesperson can have all kinds of issues when it comes to meeting prospects or talking to them for the first time. If marketing has already established trust for that salesperson’s products or services, it will be that much easier for the salesperson to connect to that prospect; a level of trust has already been created.
You could look at it, also, as having someone selling for you. By the time you get to that initial contact, they’ve broken the ice that you now don’t have to break.
A Trusting Customer Base
Now take that person who has been checking out your materials online, and multiply them by thousands, or even millions. Through your marketing, you’re establishing your potential customer base. How many of those people already trust you before they know you?
In the end, your marketing engagement—if it’s well done and trust is created—is going to result in prospects reaching out to you. They’ll realize, “Oh, yes, I need that product!” They’re saying that because they already trust you. And that is a true conversion!
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