It was a full room at CAMP’s September 17 session with speaker Suresh Parmachand discussing 10 Ways to create lasting partnerships
Sales conversions: Gone are the days of the traditional salesman and his Always Be Closing mantra. Today’s business development, sales, marketing professionals are facing a new reality – one with a longer sales cycle, a more educated consumer, and a landscape that rewards partnerships. That’s why instead of creating sales, we’re creating partners. Suresh Parmachand, Strategic Director for Stratovate, presented an excellent talk on “The Top 10 Ways to Convert Leads into Customers,” at the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP)’s session today at the Digital Media Zone and the solution isn’t what you think. There’s no silver bullet, and instead, it’s a thorough and well thought out plan that involves going back to basics. Whether you market for a large multinational, an SME, or are an entrepreneur in a start-up environment, the general points are the same – approach your targets not in terms of a quick sale, but as a long term client/partner. His advice invites us to ‘Begin Everyday’ (B.E) by doing the following:
- Play off your strengths – what is your unique ability? Find it, understand it, and create your positioning around it.
- Get Involved – Become a thought leader/expert in your field. How? Join associations (like CAMP!), Trade organizations, and other groups. Join discussion boards and comment, and blog on relevant topics.
- BE Therapeutic – Understand your target customers’ story. Listen, ask questions, provide insights and coach.
- BE Noticeable – be found. Localization is a great way to do this, and find ways that potential targets can find you. There are a number of listings (like Yelp and Kijiji) that may work for your product, and you want to ensure you can find them. There’s also community events, publications, and networking/partnering – all great methods of customers finding you.
- BE Relevant – this is more important than ever before. Be social, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you have likes or followers that this means you’re respected. Use social media to engage your audience.
Visualizing a brand’s story – Suresh asked audience members to close their eyes and visualize.
- BE Valuable – provide value & opportunity to targets.
- BE Consistent – know all the touch points of your clients, and ensure that every experience is a similar one.
- BE Transparent – Walk the Talk. Live your vision, and make sure that what you’re promising clients makes sense. And if you do make mistakes, own them.
- Be Authentic – help even when there is no sale. Build this brand of helping and providing advice, even if there is not an immediate ROI.
- BE Integrated – Have an integrated strategy that includes all areas of your business.
To effective realize lasting client relationships/partnerships is to understand the basics – who’s your audience? Why are you unique? What are you trying to achieve? What is your approach? What are your customer opportunities? Take swings, and most of all…tell your story!
To view Suresh’s complete presentation on SlideShare, please click here.
Raised in a small town in Newfoundland, Nadine headed west after graduating and fell in love with the bustle of Toronto. Her true passion is marketing and she’s spent the last 15 years in marketing roles, and is the co-founder and CEO of the Canadian Association of Marketing Professionals (CAMP). When she’s not connecting with other marketers through CAMP, Nadine is at the soccer field, gym, or swimming pool cheering on her two favourite munchkins, trying not to become that mom everyone fears.