How to sell marketing to a skeptic
Marketing is a term that can be used in many different ways. For some, it means the advertising portion of their company’s marketing mix. For others, it’s all about content creation and distribution. And there are still others who think of sales as being synonymous with marketing. Regardless of how you define it, marketing is critical to the success of any business—whether you’re selling products or services. But if you’re trying to sell your marketing program to someone who doesn’t believe in its value (or at least isn’t convinced yet), things can get a little tricky. How do you convince someone whose mindset seems firmly negative about the potential impact of what you’re offering on their bottom line? Well, I’d like to offer my best advice based on my experiences working with skeptical audiences over the past 20 years:
You should be prepared to answer questions. The person you’re pitching isn’t a fool, and they have likely considered the risks and benefits of marketing before. You may be asked to give them more information on why they should spend money on marketing, or why it’s worth the risk. It’s not enough to just tell them how good your product is; you need them to believe in it too!
Be prepared for questions about what exactly you’re offering: What do I get out of this? How does this benefit me? Will I still get my preferred test group if I pay for this service? How much does it cost per month? These are all fair questions that come up when someone hears about something new for the first time—and as we said earlier, no one’s born with knowledge about anything! So don’t take offense when someone asks these questions; just answer them as best as possible (and ask some back!).
Be transparent and fact-based.
When you’re selling marketing to a skeptic, the most important thing is honesty. Be transparent and open about your company’s history and products. There will likely be questions that you can’t answer yet because they haven’t been answered by anyone else in the industry yet—but don’t be afraid to talk about what you do know.
If you’ve done your research, have data to back up your claims (or at least some sound theories), and have done some experimentation of your own before coming into this meeting/conversation, then there’s no reason not to present it with confidence. Your product may not be perfect yet—but it’s worth talking about how it could become better over time based on customer feedback and market trends.
Show the value.
You need to be able to show the value and importance of what you’re selling, so that your prospect knows that it’s worth their time and money. If you can’t do this, then your prospects won’t have any reason to buy.
Here are some examples of how you can highlight the value:
- Show how they’ll save money by using your product or service.
- Help them understand how using the product or service will solve a problem they have right now—and make their life easier in general!
Make it personal.
When selling marketing to a skeptic, the first thing you should do is make it personal. The best way to do that is by using what we call “the right tone.” This means using language like “you,” rather than “we” or “I.” Try statements like:
- You are the reason our business exists. We wouldn’t be here without you!
- Your customers are our biggest priority and we want to ensure that we keep serving them in a way that makes them happy and keeps their loyalty. How can we help?
Sales messaging needs to be compelling and personalized to make an impact on a skeptical audience.
To sell marketing to a skeptical audience, you need to ensure that your message is compelling and personalized. Here’s how:
- Be prepared
- Be transparent and fact-based
- Show the value
- Make it personal
The takeaway from all this is that if you’re going to make an impact on a skeptical audience, you need to engage them with compelling and personalized sales messaging. This means giving them facts about how your product or service can help them, showing how it’s different from what they already have (or how it’s better), and making the whole experience personal so that it feels like speaking directly with the person on the other end of the phone or email.