One of Vendere Partners' team members recently told a story about watching a video on sound waves with her three-year-old daughter. (She's not a nerd; it turned out, she was just using the video to explain to her daughter why their family listens to so much Led Zeppelin.) The video, which included a demonstration on the parts of the human ear and how they work, got the rest of the Vendere team thinking: Even though the process is pretty miraculous, on an average day, most of us probably don’t put a lot of thought into what it takes for sound waves to reach us and for our bodies to interpret them. Not dissimilarly, sales professionals don’t always consider what it takes for their marketing materials to reach the right audiences and move those audiences to act.
There are three parts of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The outer ear gathers the sound. The middle ear, which includes the eardrum, vibrates and moves the sound to the inner ear. In the inner ear, cells move and create nerve signals that the brain understands as sound and interprets.
It just so happens that there are three phases in just about every company’s sales and marketing cycle that function very much like the human ear. They are: attention, positioning, and selling.
During the attention phase—you guessed it! You get people’s attention. You also inspire them to take action. To do these two things, you have to know who to reach, how to reach them, and, most importantly, you have to have a smart, engaging message.
During the positioning phase, you develop a relationship with the consumer and build trust in you, your company, and your company’s products or services. You also practice strategic positioning by considering your competitors’ positioning tactics and doing your best to play up the things that set you apart from the competition.
During the selling phase, you get people to make a commitment. Depending on their exact position in your sales cycle and the nature of your marketing campaign, you might request that they sign up for your newsletter, attend an event or a webinar, make a purchase, sign an agreement, or share an offer with their friends or partners in order to qualify for incentives or discounts.
Okay. Maybe the sales cycle doesn’t function at all like the human ear, but if you want to increase sales, thinking about what it takes for your message to reach leads on a personal level can help you meet your goal. If, before you delivered or made public any piece of marketing collateral, you took the time to ask yourself if your message was going to grab people’s attention, build trust, and turn leads into buyers, how much harder do you think your sales and marketing campaigns would rock?