Many experts agree: marketing is much harder today than ever before. If you are in marketing, you’re either a sales professional or what Internet Marketer and copywriter Ben Settle calls a “marketing prole.” I’ll explain what a marketing prole is later, but first let’s dig into some real paydirt.
A simple definition of marketing is any action taken for the purpose of promoting and selling goods and service. A classic definition of advertising is “salesmanship in print.” Of course, today promotion and selling can be done through video, audio, and other electronic means.
Given the difficult selling environment today, what is the best way to market and advertise?
In a Harvard Business Review article titled “Selling is Not About Relationships,” Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson describe five profiles of sales professionals. The five profiles came out of a study by the Sales Executive Council of 6,000 sales reps. Each profile shares a specific set of skills and behaviors based on how they interact with customers.
As you market your goods and services, what sales profile matches your selling persona?
The 5 Sales Professional Profiles
- Relationship Builder. Those in this profile grow sales by establishing and developing strong personal and professional relationships with customers. These sales reps are highly attentive and responsive to the needs of their customers.
- Hard Workers. These reps show up early, stay late, and do whatever it takes to outwork everyone else.
- Lone Wolves. These are the self-confident rebels who live by their own rules.
- Reactive Problem Solvers. These reps are detail people who are highly reliable who offer great post-sale follow-up to ensure that everything goes right for the customer.
- Challengers. Those in this profile take a deep dive into their customer’s business so that they can assertively advocate what they believe each customer needs.
According to Dixon and Adamson, challengers outperform every other profile. Why is that? The authors single out three advantages of the challenger style.
First, challengers teach their customers by bringing a unique perspective to the customer’s needs. They bring new and fresh ideas that make or save money and see new opportunities that the customer has missed.
Second, challengers fine-tune their sales pitch to customer’s objectives and value drivers.
Third, challengers assertively take control of the sales process. Challengers fearlessly push their customers on new ideas and price, getting them to think differently about their business and their business needs.
So, how are you going to outperform your competition? By having a clear understanding of your sales persona, and using the best available means to communicate your sales message.
Which sales professional profile best matches your sales persona?
One challenger that comes immediately to mind is Ben Settle. He’s an internet marketer and copywriter and his style is in your face. He doesn’t do a deep dive into your business, unless you hire him to do copywriting for you. With his other services, he is constantly challenging, provoking, and pushing. By pushing, I don’t mean pushy – there is a big difference. He is a strong advocate for his approach, particularly to email marketing.
Then there’s Daniel Levis, Matt McWilliams, and Amy Porterfield who are more relational in their approach. Dan Kennedy leans toward the Lone Wolf persona. Many other internet marketers come from a Reactive Problem Solvers place. There are Hard Workers and 4 Hour Work Week types.
What’s essential is that you know your persona and do what you do best. There are internet marketing millionaires in every category. Know who you are, communicate who you are, and do your very best based on who you are. Learn from and incorporate aspects of the challenger profile, but be yourself. Be persistent, keep growing, and the sales will come!
What’s a marketing prole?
So, you’ve come this far and you want to know what a marketing prole is? The description marketing prole can be traced back to Shane Hunter, although he may have heard it from someone else. This is how Ben Settle describes a marketing prole:
…”people who still work a job, have a very working class mentality, and a very scarcity based mentality (none of which are “bad”), but have one toe in the business world and play business, with no intention of actually really doing anything. These are the people who always have an opinion (based on nothing but feelz and a book they read). They love to hang out in reddit, facebook groups, and marketing forums spouting their nonsensical opinions. And, they are the opportunity buyers who buy everything for the dopamine drip (they get each time they buy a new product — yes, it is a very real addiction people have), but never do anything with the product, and just go from one to the next, never committing, never doing, never earning.”
I hope that’s not you. If it is, change now! Click on the Products tab above to see resources that will power up your sales persona and help you sell more.