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Black_Dragon43

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Many entrepreneurs and companies get crushed when they mistake the relative importance of these forces. So I think it's fundamental that you get this right from the very start. If you fight against the market, you will lose. If you focus on getting sales to the detriment of marketing (keeping your pipeline full) you're again setting yourself up for failure.

My goal with this post is to dissect these forces, see how they are related, and how you can use them to your advantage, and more importantly, how you can avoid setting yourself up for failure. You could potentially lose years if you don't keep these factors and relationships in mind.

1. The Market

The most powerful force in business is not something that you can control at all. This is the power of the market, which is formed from the cumulative desires and perceptions of every player on the market, whether they are individuals or companies. Nobody has enough resources to control the average perceptions of the market. Some players have enough capital to shape and guide the market to a limited extent. Entrenched brands with access to billions of dollars in advertising and PR can hope to do this. But again, only to a limited extent.

If you're a restaurant and COVID comes along, the market can shut you down. There is nothing you can do to force the market to do your bidding. The best strategy when you come against this force is to bend with it (if it's coming against you) and set yourself so that you're on the same trend as it is. Think about the switch from mainframe computers to personal computers. Companies like DEC and IBM that ignored the market and threw their BILLIONS against it were crushed. On the other hand, companies like Apple were heftily rewarded.

Discovering a market trend though is easier said than done. A trend could also be a fad, especially if the growth is exponential. The trouble with a fad is that the market can rapidly switch, leaving you with tons of invested capital that you can never get back. Coleco Industries with the Cabbage Patch Kids is an example. The toy got extremely popular in the early 80s, seeing exponential growth year over year... but by 1988 Coleco was filing for bankruptcy. If you invest heavily in a fad, you will get destroyed when the market turns against you. Your best bet is to push the market in the opposite direction, and not pump up the fad. Create scarcity, and you may be able to establish a long-term trend.

The market can also make you rich all by itself. Without ANY help from marketing or sales. If you were a medical mask factory, and COVID came along, then I can assure you: you didn't need any marketing or sales. People would call on you.

2. Marketing

Marketing is about getting the attention of a lot of relevant people. It's about how you position yourself in the market. It's much more extensive than just advertising. It's your own effort at shaping the forces of the market. As we established before, you cannot hope to go AGAINST the market via your marketing endeavors and win. Nobody has such resources.

But you can use those forces to your advantage. Just like in Judo, you can also use the forces of your competition to your advantage. If you're small, and they're Big, position yourself as the alternative to Big -> check out Apple vs Big Brother IBM. If they're old (Coca Cola) and you're new (Pepsi) position yourself as the brand for youthful people. By taking the OPPOSITE position to the market leader, you set yourself up to grab EVERYONE who doesn't agree with the market leader.

Look at Apple. Microsoft stood for customization and options - with Microsoft you could do EVERYTHING. Apple took the opposite position. Apple is about simplicity and ease. You don't need all that complexity. Simple, easy to use - that's what you need. Apple started off as MUCH smaller than Microsoft. By the 2000s when Steve Jobs had just returned, Apple was peanuts compared to Microsoft. But now, Apple is the most valuable company in the world, more valuable than Microsoft. How could that happen when they took the OPPOSITE position?

It could ONLY happen if they took the opposite position and expanded the segment of the market which was AGAINST Microsoft. In most industries, a leader always emerges - and a consumer can be either against the leader, or for the leader. There are no other positions. And you will never beat the leader by taking the same position that they take. The only way is to galvanize support from everyone who is against the leader, ie taking the opposite approach.

If your marketing efforts are successful, you will know because you always have a full pipeline. People are coming to you. They want to purchase by themselves. You don't have to try and "close them". They are already closed. And marketing beats sales. If I have 100 people knocking on my door and you have just 10, I will outsell you even if my sales skills suck. It won't even be a competition.

3. Sales

Lastly we have sales. Which really is a subset of marketing. Once you have someone's attention, you've got to convince them to give you the money. Poor marketing with outstanding sales will only get you mediocre results. How so? Well, if you're reaching out to someone (sales), you're already losing. The person or company you're reaching out to has the high ground. If I call you to sell you a service, you have the high-ground. By being a great salesman, I may be able to take the high-ground from you, but I'm already fighting an uphill battle.

Salesman: "Hi this is X from Y. I had a look at your website, and there are a few things you could do that would get you more sales. Are you interested to hear more?"
Business Owner: "I only have 5 minutes, make it quick"
Salesman: "That's okay because I only have 3 minutes"

Notice how the salesman is reframing it as him holding the high-ground against the business owner. But he always needs to reframe it, because the other guy already has the high ground. Compare this with the opposite approach. The salesman is approached by the business owner:

Business Owner: "I'm interested in your service about turning websites into cash machines"
Salesman: "Oh you are? Well, we're quite busy so it's going to be tough to find a spot for you... let me see"

Notice how instantly the business owner starts at a disavantage here. The salesman is calling the shots, and he knows it. If he's a great buyer, he may be able to wrestle back control from the salesman. But it's an uphill battle.

In sales, the person who appears the least needy wins. And the best way to appear least needy? Great marketing.
 

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Walter Hay

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Salesman: "Hi this is X from Y. I had a look at your website, and there are a few things you could do that would get you more sales. Are you interested to hear more?"
Business Owner: "I only have 5 minutes, make it quick"
Salesman: "That's okay because I only have 3 minutes"
This and the following points about taking the high ground are brilliant.

It is refreshing to read a post that is written by someone who understands what marketing really is.

In confirmation of what you say when you wrote: "By taking the OPPOSITE position to the market leader, you set yourself up to grab EVERYONE who doesn't agree with the market leader." here is an extract from my labeling book: "Apple is my last example. The apple with a bite out of it is a sign of rebellion against authority. It is designed to subconsciously appeal to “independent thinkers”, or to those who want to be seen as independent thinkers, non-conformists, rebels, ones who think outside the square, anti-establishment, or as ones who don’t just look ̶ they act ̶ they immediately take the bite out of whatever it is that they desire."

There are many other companies that set out to take the opposite position. Diesel, started by Renzo Rosso set out to be a clothing brand for rebels. It worked, and Rosso became a billionaire. The company has now lost its way, and the appeal to rebels has vanished, but the weird advertising with undertones of social and climate change activism has found a new market.

There is gold in your first post and I hope to see this thread gain official gold status.

Walter
 

SchenkFinancial

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Interesting aspect: take the opposite side of the established company. The Apple/Microsoft example illustrates this very well. It is certainly more refreshing for the customer to be confronted with a completely different approach than dealing with the thousandth clone of an already successful company.

In this way, you can get the full attention which should be the preliminary stage to the final goal: word of mouth.
 

Wil22

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Jun 8, 2020
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Many entrepreneurs and companies get crushed when they mistake the relative importance of these forces. So I think it's fundamental that you get this right from the very start. If you fight against the market, you will lose. If you focus on getting sales to the detriment of marketing (keeping your pipeline full) you're again setting yourself up for failure.

My goal with this post is to dissect these forces, see how they are related, and how you can use them to your advantage, and more importantly, how you can avoid setting yourself up for failure. You could potentially lose years if you don't keep these factors and relationships in mind.

1. The Market

The most powerful force in business is not something that you can control at all. This is the power of the market, which is formed from the cumulative desires and perceptions of every player on the market, whether they are individuals or companies. Nobody has enough resources to control the average perceptions of the market. Some players have enough capital to shape and guide the market to a limited extent. Entrenched brands with access to billions of dollars in advertising and PR can hope to do this. But again, only to a limited extent.

If you're a restaurant and COVID comes along, the market can shut you down. There is nothing you can do to force the market to do your bidding. The best strategy when you come against this force is to bend with it (if it's coming against you) and set yourself so that you're on the same trend as it is. Think about the switch from mainframe computers to personal computers. Companies like DEC and IBM that ignored the market and threw their BILLIONS against it were crushed. On the other hand, companies like Apple were heftily rewarded.

Discovering a market trend though is easier said than done. A trend could also be a fad, especially if the growth is exponential. The trouble with a fad is that the market can rapidly switch, leaving you with tons of invested capital that you can never get back. Coleco Industries with the Cabbage Patch Kids is an example. The toy got extremely popular in the early 80s, seeing exponential growth year over year... but by 1988 Coleco was filing for bankruptcy. If you invest heavily in a fad, you will get destroyed when the market turns against you. Your best bet is to push the market in the opposite direction, and not pump up the fad. Create scarcity, and you may be able to establish a long-term trend.

The market can also make you rich all by itself. Without ANY help from marketing or sales. If you were a medical mask factory, and COVID came along, then I can assure you: you didn't need any marketing or sales. People would call on you.

2. Marketing

Marketing is about getting the attention of a lot of relevant people. It's about how you position yourself in the market. It's much more extensive than just advertising. It's your own effort at shaping the forces of the market. As we established before, you cannot hope to go AGAINST the market via your marketing endeavors and win. Nobody has such resources.

But you can use those forces to your advantage. Just like in Judo, you can also use the forces of your competition to your advantage. If you're small, and they're Big, position yourself as the alternative to Big -> check out Apple vs Big Brother IBM. If they're old (Coca Cola) and you're new (Pepsi) position yourself as the brand for youthful people. By taking the OPPOSITE position to the market leader, you set yourself up to grab EVERYONE who doesn't agree with the market leader.

Look at Apple. Microsoft stood for customization and options - with Microsoft you could do EVERYTHING. Apple took the opposite position. Apple is about simplicity and ease. You don't need all that complexity. Simple, easy to use - that's what you need. Apple started off as MUCH smaller than Microsoft. By the 2000s when Steve Jobs had just returned, Apple was peanuts compared to Microsoft. But now, Apple is the most valuable company in the world, more valuable than Microsoft. How could that happen when they took the OPPOSITE position?

It could ONLY happen if they took the opposite position and expanded the segment of the market which was AGAINST Microsoft. In most industries, a leader always emerges - and a consumer can be either against the leader, or for the leader. There are no other positions. And you will never beat the leader by taking the same position that they take. The only way is to galvanize support from everyone who is against the leader, ie taking the opposite approach.

If your marketing efforts are successful, you will know because you always have a full pipeline. People are coming to you. They want to purchase by themselves. You don't have to try and "close them". They are already closed. And marketing beats sales. If I have 100 people knocking on my door and you have just 10, I will outsell you even if my sales skills suck. It won't even be a competition.

3. Sales

Lastly we have sales. Which really is a subset of marketing. Once you have someone's attention, you've got to convince them to give you the money. Poor marketing with outstanding sales will only get you mediocre results. How so? Well, if you're reaching out to someone (sales), you're already losing. The person or company you're reaching out to has the high ground. If I call you to sell you a service, you have the high-ground. By being a great salesman, I may be able to take the high-ground from you, but I'm already fighting an uphill battle.

Salesman: "Hi this is X from Y. I had a look at your website, and there are a few things you could do that would get you more sales. Are you interested to hear more?"
Business Owner: "I only have 5 minutes, make it quick"
Salesman: "That's okay because I only have 3 minutes"

Notice how the salesman is reframing it as him holding the high-ground against the business owner. But he always needs to reframe it, because the other guy already has the high ground. Compare this with the opposite approach. The salesman is approached by the business owner:

Business Owner: "I'm interested in your service about turning websites into cash machines"
Salesman: "Oh you are? Well, we're quite busy so it's going to be tough to find a spot for you... let me see"

Notice how instantly the business owner starts at a disavantage here. The salesman is calling the shots, and he knows it. If he's a great buyer, he may be able to wrestle back control from the salesman. But it's an uphill battle.

In sales, the person who appears the least needy wins. And the best way to appear least needy? Great marketing.
Great article. If I take it away from a prospect the more they want it. Brilliant
 

Kevin88660

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Many entrepreneurs and companies get crushed when they mistake the relative importance of these forces. So I think it's fundamental that you get this right from the very start. If you fight against the market, you will lose. If you focus on getting sales to the detriment of marketing (keeping your pipeline full) you're again setting yourself up for failure.

My goal with this post is to dissect these forces, see how they are related, and how you can use them to your advantage, and more importantly, how you can avoid setting yourself up for failure. You could potentially lose years if you don't keep these factors and relationships in mind.

1. The Market

The most powerful force in business is not something that you can control at all. This is the power of the market, which is formed from the cumulative desires and perceptions of every player on the market, whether they are individuals or companies. Nobody has enough resources to control the average perceptions of the market. Some players have enough capital to shape and guide the market to a limited extent. Entrenched brands with access to billions of dollars in advertising and PR can hope to do this. But again, only to a limited extent.

If you're a restaurant and COVID comes along, the market can shut you down. There is nothing you can do to force the market to do your bidding. The best strategy when you come against this force is to bend with it (if it's coming against you) and set yourself so that you're on the same trend as it is. Think about the switch from mainframe computers to personal computers. Companies like DEC and IBM that ignored the market and threw their BILLIONS against it were crushed. On the other hand, companies like Apple were heftily rewarded.

Discovering a market trend though is easier said than done. A trend could also be a fad, especially if the growth is exponential. The trouble with a fad is that the market can rapidly switch, leaving you with tons of invested capital that you can never get back. Coleco Industries with the Cabbage Patch Kids is an example. The toy got extremely popular in the early 80s, seeing exponential growth year over year... but by 1988 Coleco was filing for bankruptcy. If you invest heavily in a fad, you will get destroyed when the market turns against you. Your best bet is to push the market in the opposite direction, and not pump up the fad. Create scarcity, and you may be able to establish a long-term trend.

The market can also make you rich all by itself. Without ANY help from marketing or sales. If you were a medical mask factory, and COVID came along, then I can assure you: you didn't need any marketing or sales. People would call on you.

2. Marketing

Marketing is about getting the attention of a lot of relevant people. It's about how you position yourself in the market. It's much more extensive than just advertising. It's your own effort at shaping the forces of the market. As we established before, you cannot hope to go AGAINST the market via your marketing endeavors and win. Nobody has such resources.

But you can use those forces to your advantage. Just like in Judo, you can also use the forces of your competition to your advantage. If you're small, and they're Big, position yourself as the alternative to Big -> check out Apple vs Big Brother IBM. If they're old (Coca Cola) and you're new (Pepsi) position yourself as the brand for youthful people. By taking the OPPOSITE position to the market leader, you set yourself up to grab EVERYONE who doesn't agree with the market leader.

Look at Apple. Microsoft stood for customization and options - with Microsoft you could do EVERYTHING. Apple took the opposite position. Apple is about simplicity and ease. You don't need all that complexity. Simple, easy to use - that's what you need. Apple started off as MUCH smaller than Microsoft. By the 2000s when Steve Jobs had just returned, Apple was peanuts compared to Microsoft. But now, Apple is the most valuable company in the world, more valuable than Microsoft. How could that happen when they took the OPPOSITE position?

It could ONLY happen if they took the opposite position and expanded the segment of the market which was AGAINST Microsoft. In most industries, a leader always emerges - and a consumer can be either against the leader, or for the leader. There are no other positions. And you will never beat the leader by taking the same position that they take. The only way is to galvanize support from everyone who is against the leader, ie taking the opposite approach.

If your marketing efforts are successful, you will know because you always have a full pipeline. People are coming to you. They want to purchase by themselves. You don't have to try and "close them". They are already closed. And marketing beats sales. If I have 100 people knocking on my door and you have just 10, I will outsell you even if my sales skills suck. It won't even be a competition.

3. Sales

Lastly we have sales. Which really is a subset of marketing. Once you have someone's attention, you've got to convince them to give you the money. Poor marketing with outstanding sales will only get you mediocre results. How so? Well, if you're reaching out to someone (sales), you're already losing. The person or company you're reaching out to has the high ground. If I call you to sell you a service, you have the high-ground. By being a great salesman, I may be able to take the high-ground from you, but I'm already fighting an uphill battle.

Salesman: "Hi this is X from Y. I had a look at your website, and there are a few things you could do that would get you more sales. Are you interested to hear more?"
Business Owner: "I only have 5 minutes, make it quick"
Salesman: "That's okay because I only have 3 minutes"

Notice how the salesman is reframing it as him holding the high-ground against the business owner. But he always needs to reframe it, because the other guy already has the high ground. Compare this with the opposite approach. The salesman is approached by the business owner:

Business Owner: "I'm interested in your service about turning websites into cash machines"
Salesman: "Oh you are? Well, we're quite busy so it's going to be tough to find a spot for you... let me see"

Notice how instantly the business owner starts at a disavantage here. The salesman is calling the shots, and he knows it. If he's a great buyer, he may be able to wrestle back control from the salesman. But it's an uphill battle.

In sales, the person who appears the least needy wins. And the best way to appear least needy? Great marketing.
Very good points!

I prefer to use market trends rather than market. Ultimately when we analyse the market we are trying to be forward looking.

Marketing : Okay this is where I differ slightly from the conventional wisdom. You have to think about marketing even BEFORE your set up your service procedures and products. Utimately your pricing and positioning is targeting a specific segment of the market with specific preference and purchasing power.

Sales: This is where I think a lot of sales book are outdated rubbish. Salesmen cannot save a shitty product or deal with a bad market. Apple phones do not need to pay high commission to attract the best sales people who take orders. If you need sales skill, chances are you are selling a product with need/value but no urgency or/and have many competing products that is better than yours in one feature but inferior in the other feature. Thats why we need sales people.

I am speaking selling to C here where I have experience. People selling to big business might experience differently. Understanding customer’s buying decision behavior is key. How they communicate? How do they want to make their decisions? Sales people are taught with outdated tricks to override customers’ way of Buying decision and only end up humiliating themselves. Stop fighting battles that you cannot win And you rightfully should not win (in an age of internet). Let the customers compare quotes. Just wait if they have no urgency. Speak/Text to as many people as possible to be on their waiting list and option list. Let the math do its work for you.

Times have changed with internet. Clients want to be emperors and you be the adviser. Salespeople who are still trying to “outsmart” their clients are fighting against mega trends.

Again many will disagree with me because the convention wisdom is still using information advantage to flush clients with psychological tricks, hoping that it will suppress their natural tendency to compare products and forcing an urgency where the client feels no urgency.
 
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OP
Black_Dragon43

Black_Dragon43

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A big thank you to the contributions of the previous posters! :clap::

Sales: This is where I think a lot of sales book are outdated rubbish. Salesmen cannot save a shitty product or deal with a bad market.
Yes! It's also one of the things that many entrepreneurs don't realise. I see many people on these boards looking to learn sales skills, while ignoring the fact that it's not sales that makes the biggest difference. Most sales books out there have been written for sales people - they are meant to make sales people more productive. They are not meant for entrepreneurs who want to learn how to sell their own products.

When you run your own business, you have absolute control over the offer and how it's positioned. In fact, you even have control over what market you're in. This is not the kind of control that a salesman has. A salesman is just told to "sell this product/service, here are the conditions you can play with". That's it. He doesn't have anymore freedom than that.

Whereas the business owner does. Especially the small business owner who has a lot of flexibility to play with. And when it comes to growing your own business, you're far better off working to come up with great offers and great deals, than reading books written for salesmen about learning how to sell. There really isn't a lot of magic that goes into it.

But when you focus on building unique offers and great deals, and work to position yourself as appealing, then it doesn't actually take a lot of sales skills to get your product or service moving. Sure, it does take awareness, but that's it.

If you find that you're working super hard on your sales game, what that usually says to me is that there's something wrong with your marketing and your offers. You're trying to shove a bad, unappealing offer down the throats of customers who are running away from it. It's possible to get some results by doing this, but is it really worth it? Wouldn't your energy be better invested in something else?
 

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