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Instilling customer confidence through marketing

Are buying decisions in business always the right ones? The answer (of course) is no. While it’s logical to think that a business is giving its staff the freedom and resources to make the best decisions for the business, the reality is that the staff don’t always do the right thing.

We will all have come across the sales team cursing that they’ve lost a sale to an inferior competitor. This happens. What we need to do is to identify why, and then work out if there’s anything that can be done about it.

Understanding the risk

One reason that sub-optimal choices are made is that the better sales proposition wasn’t detailed clearly enough. Too many suppliers forget about their own strengths and don’t make enough of them. For example, they just assume that everyone knows they’re the biggest name in the market and the ‘safe choice’, and forget to highlight that. And this is just the top of the iceberg when it comes to neglected sales features, which go all the way down to making specifications hard to find.

However, in a career where I’ve often been working for the upstart or the innovator, I’ve seen sales teams frustrated by customers who saw the evidence but didn’t seem to appreciate it. Where the sales teams had probably failed was not in getting over the story, but understanding the risk they were asking the customer to take. The question should then have been: could marketing have helped here?