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July 17, 2013

Fire Your Sales Team - Serving Vs. Selling

By Jessika Phillips

“Fire Your Sales Team”

You read the title right... it’s time to fire your entire sales force and totally revamp your business model. But before you send your sales team to pack up their desks, let me explain. The days of driving your sales with hook lines and catchy tag phrases are long over. With technology and information at our fingertips, people are able to compare products and services with a touch of a button. So, in a fast paced world where everyone is competing for attention, how can your brand stand out??

Marketing has historically been a two-dimensional relationship between a company and clients. A company utilizes various advertising avenues to scream their messages of awesomeness about their goods and services. The hope is that a potential buyer will be in the market for what they offer at the exact time the company is screaming their message. It's not often that a buyer would be watching or listening at just the right time. Not to mention: Have you ever remembered a funny commercial or jingle, but could not for the life of you remember what brand produced it? Flashy has been done... there are only so many baby and kitten advertisements a person can handle. Let's face it, it's time to be real in order to build relationships with potential buyers. It's time to add a "back to the basics" level of strategy to your marketing and selling approach and add serving to your strategy. Actually, don't just add it to your marketing strategy; add serving to the forefront of who you are as a company!

Serving a customer's needs extends far beyond providing only what they pay for. Having a positive interaction with a consumer prior to a sale is far more likely to transform them into a client. In the New York Times Bestseller “YOUTILITY”, author Jay Baer explains why smart marketing is based on help, not hype. Instead of using so many resources on trying to WOW customers with products, he believes focus should be shifted to serving. One great example he gives is what Hilton Hotels has done with the Twitter account @HiltonSuggests. This account is not dedicated to booking hotels or fielding complaints; its only function is providing much-needed information for travelers. Information is provided about restaurants, shopping and - in one case - even a veterinarian was suggested. You’re probably thinking: that’s a pretty great service to provide for their customers. But this is actually a front row seat to the battle of Selling vs. Serving. The Twitter account was not created for Hilton customers. That’s right, anyone, anywhere, and even guests of other hotels can use this feature. By offering this free service, Hilton has created a bridge linking potential customers directly to their front door. Potential clients jump directly on-board with Hilton, without baiting them with an advertisement. When Hilton is able to serve someone with information they desperately needed, which hotel chain do you think they are most likely to book with next?

Help someone solve a problem, learn something new, or achieve more. By doing these three things, you build influence and you don’t have to sell!


This "serving" method is one we preach to our clients at NOW Marketing Group. We assist our clients in transitioning from selling to serving through a process we call Relationship Marketing. We use an inbound-marketing process and we’re proud to be Hubspot Certified Partners that specialize in developing strategic inbound marketing plans for our clients. We start our 6-Step process by discovering your "buyer persona" and their pain points or needs. We are able to bring you to the forefront of their search for the goods or services you offer because we match up their pain points with a solution of serving you can provide for them. We carry our serving approach throughout all your online marketing.

Let me ask you this: If I - or a potential client - looked at your website or your social media pages right now, what will they find? Is it a tool used for serving? Are you offering a free e-book or download? Our goal is take old websites from an electronic brochure to an interactive tool that leaves a positive impression on your target audience. By providing free resources, and even “How-To” videos, you build a relationship by serving before selling. Potential clients grow to trust you because you offer your time and knowledge at no cost.

In a world where you are fighting distractions and your business tries to compete for your client's attention, ask yourself: “How can we serve and become so valuable that their time is worth it?”

We will help you build a "know, like and trust" relationship marketing strategy, which ultimately becomes the reason your clients will buy from you. Creating excitement about your products is all about being useful! Get them buzzing about your willingness to serve. Smart marketing truly is about help, not hype, and we’re prepared to take you there.

- Jessika Phillips

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Tags: inbound marketing, selling, serving


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