Peter Drucker said: “…the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy. All that should be needed then is to make the product or service available.”
No one wants to be interrupted
Despite this, there are always people out there who continue with salesmanship, à la used car salesmen. There are courses on salesmanship, sales techniques, closing the sale etc. etc. There are still people who you have never heard of before, let alone spoken to, interrupting a cosy evening watching your favourite TV show by calling you on the phone, and there are still people scouring the web for email addresses and then sending emails to people who have never heard of them before. STOP! Nobody wants to be interrupted! Nobody wants to buy from you after one phonecall or an email that they didn’t want in the first place (there is a word for that: spam).
And it is expensive. Really really expensive. Monty Python legend John Cleese did adverts for Icelandic bank Kaupthing before the economic collapse. As Iceland only has about 330 thousand inhabitants, in one ad he asked why Kaupthing didn’t just call all of them. It was funny. It was a joke. He is a comedian. And it was before the collapse.
Marketing is about building a relationship. A relationship that makes people want to do business with you again and again, and choose to do business with you rather than the competition. Traditional sales methods are like walking up to the girl at the bar and going straight for the marriage proposal. How likely is it that she will say yes? How likely is it that it will develop into a relationship? How about just taking it slow? Get to know her, chat for a bit, find out what she is interested in, what she needs. Share that interest with her and help her with what she needs help with. Much more likely to end in marriage, or what? That is marketing. As Drucker says, “know and understand the customer” and give her what she needs.
“I love Apple”
Have you ever had a sales call from Ikea? Or an unwanted email from Apple? An unsolicited email from Coca Cola? Nope, me neither. Why? Because these businesses do marketing – and are damn good at it too. Which is the reason you can even hear people saying “I love Ikea, “I love Apple”, “I love Coca Cola” – and if that isn’t a good relationship, I don’t know what is!