My Gut Speaks to Me…
In 2015, I started Kak Varley to test my hypothesis and quickly went out to find some partners that would hear me out and join me on my journey.
The thing is that I have 25+ plus years of sales experience. Now I am not talking about a ‘car salesman’ kind of sales experience. I’m talking about sales being a CRAFT. I’ve taken mounds of sales training over my career like Sandler (one of my favorites), Question-Based Selling, Miller Heiman (least favorite), etc.
With my sales experience, I realized there were 3 practices that made me a good salesperson (by the way, hundreds of sales books have mentioned these same characteristics):
- Listening to my customers…It’s the #1 rule in sales!… I always made a point to shut up and listen!
- Relying on my ethics…After stumbling around as a newbie sales rep for years, I finally learned to say “I don’t know” when I didn’t know (rather than saying ‘yes’ to just get the sale).
- Being transparent…I never tried to deliberately hide anything from my customers. I was always myself. And sometimes that meant telling them the good, the bad, and the UGLY.
To me, characteristics like these are TRUE SALES…not your classic “coffee’s for closers”, “always be closing”, or “smile and dial” nonsense.
So as I went around the marketing marketplace, it became quite clear that many marketing people (and people doing marketing for themselves) are missing that one crucial skill – SALES EXPERIENCE. I have found that they’ve often never done sales, or they just haven’t put in the 10,000 hours. In some cases, they have never even been in front of customers before. That, in turn, meant that they just didn’t know how to listen to their clients, rely on their ethics, and because of that, they were naturally afraid of being transparent.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard marketers say that a client “wasn’t a fit”, or tried to fake results with deceptive percentages or… wait for it…not even show a client what work was done!
It’s a snowball effect that causes marketing people to have a lack of results. And, as I also discovered, it’s a recipe that limits effectiveness across all of the marketing landscape, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE DOING YOUR OWN MARKETING.