Management 306

Week 06

This is the Management 306 Lecture on Selling. I mentioned in an earlier lecture that selling is persuasion on steroids. Everything that you do with persuasion you do with selling, but you take it to another level. So, when you persuade you are seeking to get someone to agree with your position. When you sell, you're asking that person to spend money to buy your service or your product. So, that requires an additional level of effectiveness when it comes to persuasion and that's why persuasion is selling, but it's selling to another level. There are a lot of slides on the website for you to take a look at. Feel free to go through them all. I'm going to just sort of highlight a few concepts I want you to understand when it comes to selling, but I also hope that you will spend a little time looking at all the material I have. Now, some of this is sort of relevant. This was taken from the original textbook which, you know, is not required for this class at all, but some of it is sort of specific to direct mail which has really fallen out of favor. Obviously, it's been taken over by email which has then turned into spam and so on, but the ideas really still apply in that when you are the seller, and this is going to be a change now, because probably for most or all of your life, you've been the consumer. You've been the one that people are selling to, so you've gotten very sophisticated at filtering out the messages that advertisers and people trying to sell to you have been sending towards you. I read various articles and studies that say that we're inundated with advertising and selling messages, you know, a thousand or more every day we experience in some form or another. So, you're obviously pretty good at filtering them out by the time you reach adulthood. You know, if you're in college you've been, you know, literally saturated most of your life or all of your life with sells messages. So, now that you're responsible for trying to sell something, how do you do that? How do you craft a message that penetrates, that gets through to your customers out there when they're actually just like you in terms of they become very sophisticated at screening out those messages? So, this is what I want to talk a little bit more about. So, the sales are promotional messages, of course, they're thorough of what I'm saying, the product service for business, as well as, the potential customer's needs. So, what you're going to do is you're going to think about what am I selling? What are the benefits? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages? What are the strongest points for selling, and who am I selling to? What does this group of people who are my potential customers where are they? How can I reach them effectively? What I like to say is, how can I reach my customers in a cost-effective way? That's sort of the bottom line question that you need to answer and if you find you can't reach them in a cost-effective way, than you need to change something, but because if you can't reach them in a cost-effective way you won't be in business for very long at all. You'll burn through your capital and you'll fold which is a very common sort of result. Anyway, for sales communication use the following pattern; open by attracting your reader's attention, describe the features of the product or service that will appeal strongly to your reader's response or needs, and wants or needs are two different things and I'm going to use them both. So, just understand that wants and/or needs are both are something you really need to think about. Suggest a way that the readers can immediately use the project service and ask the reader to take action. It's actually pretty straightforward in terms of what you have to do. It's doing it well is going to be the key for you. There is one thing to say, "You should buy this." It's another thing to assemble this complete message, this very persuasive message where you present, where you find the people who are most likely your customers, your target audience and then you present to these people a message that you have spent time and money crafting and developing that will penetrate their filters, they will see this as a possible opportunity for them in terms of what they're looking for and then you may complete a sale. You would actually get something sold. So, you start with by figuring out who your audience is and how you can reach them. There's a lot of information and especially now with the pervasive elements of social media, this kind of information is available for you to buy. You can access this in all kinds of ways. I like to say that Facebook is a not free. You didn't pay for your Facebook account, but Facebook is selling you and everything you post on Facebook to advertisers and that's how they're paying for Facebook. So, keep that in mind that you've traded privacy, you've traded your; a lot of information about you, what you like, where you live, how old you are, what school you went to, who your friends are, you've traded all of this information to advertisers in exchange for using a social medial site like Facebook. So, that kind of information is now as someone who is doing the selling as opposed to being sold to, that kind of information is available to you to rent or to buy. So, in addition to finding them and identifying who they are, you have to know something about who, you know, what their psychological sales points are. In other words, what is it? What are the benefits to your potential customers? Why should they give you their money is really the question you need to answer? Why should they spend their money buying what I'm trying to sell? And you need to be very clear about that. Write that down. What is it? If you ever do a business plan and I have done a business plan, I mentioned that in an earlier lecture, you have to write that down. You have to write down what your competitive advantages are, you know, what your psychological sales points are. You have to actually understand, spend time analyzing what it is that you're selling and how it will be competitive either to price or quality, or both against the competition and that will ultimately will get you customers and keep you customers, enough customers keep coming back. So, this becomes all part of this, this process by which you assemble the selling message. This isn't, you know, this isn't novice writing anymore. You're now into advanced writing. This is very sophisticated writing. It does require a level of analysis and understanding of what it is you're trying to accomplish; what are you doing? What are you selling? How much is it going to cost? How are people going to buy it? Who are the people most likely to buy it? The example I like to use, and you have to know all these things and answer them and answer them correctly or you could, or you'll go out of business, or you'll never even get in the business. The, one example I like to use is a Super Bowl ad. Gee, wouldn't it be great if you could just put a Super Bowl ad up for basically anything you're trying to sell? Well first of all, the cost is off the charts, it's crazy high. I believe it had got; it's blown past a million dollars a minute to appear on a Super Bowl and that also you have to spend many millions more actually, you know, putting that ad together. It's extremely expensive. So, it doesn't make sense for almost everybody. The other problem with buying saying a Super Bowl ad is, it's very broad. Sure, there's a lot of people watching the Super Bowl and yes they'll sit through some of the; a lot of them will sit through the ads although not everybody obviously. They'll be up on a beer break or whatever it is they're doing, but you know you put this message out there for however many, many, many tens of millions or more of people are watching the Super Bowl and will see your ad. But, are they your customers? Are they the people most likely to buy your product? Because if they're not you've just wasted a huge amount of money which, you know, could bankrupt your company unless you're large enough to absorb it and you see no sales come out that. You see nothing come out of that and that won't work for you as a business. You actually have to target people who are most likely to buy and then put in front of them a message that is most likely to move them to buy, and it all has to be cost-effective. In other words, you're marketing and advertisement costs have to be lower than the revenue they generate, because if they're not, you're going to go broke and this is a very important aspect of business and this is; I'm talking a lot about this now, because selling really does involve understanding. Not just putting out a sales message, but putting out an effective sales message to the right people that actually generates more revenue than it cost you. So, these are and you can go through the slides and you can see the general ideas of how this works. What I wanted to do is point that out. So, specifically for this class, since we're talking about writing and it is a writing class, what I want to do is focus on the actual words you use, because these are a little different. They're still persuasion, but now they're persuasion to a higher level. So, you're actually going to use what are called "selling" words and here are some examples; would you rather have a car or a new car; a solution or a proven solution? Selling words strike the right emotional chord inspiring and motivating your reader. These words stimulate your reader to act. It's not enough to have a good idea or product, you have to reach out and connect to your reader. You must stir their emotion. You must create intrigue and desire in your reader. So, these are the words that, for example, Coca Cola likes to use. I mentioned Coca Cola earlier where they tell you to buy a Coke, but they appeal to you on an emotional level. Well, if you look at the slide you will see that Coke has been doing this for over a century. This dates back into the 1800s when Coke was selling Coke and they understood that they weren't going to sell a lot of Coke by appealing to you on an intellectual level, as I think I mentioned on an earlier lecture, what they're going to do is sell you Coke by appealing to you on an emotional level. So, here are some examples and the dates when these were the, the ad line that Coke used; "Delicious", "Refreshing", "Invigorating", "Exhilarating." None of those are factual by the way. Those are all, you know, really exciting words or virtue words and that was 1887. This about that, Coke was in business back in 1887 selling Coke by using these sorts of words. "Pure as sunlight" 1927, "Ice cold sunshine", think about that. Think about the image, "Ice cold sunshine." Obviously, sunshine is very hot; "ice cold sunshine", 1932. If you remember your history, 1932 and I'm not familiar with global economics, but I can tell you the United States was in the heart of the Great Depression. The times were very, very hard. People were very poor. It was a very hard time in our country and Coke is selling Coke in the middle of the Great Depression by using the phrase "Ice cold sunshine." So, just imagine your task for keeping a business afloat when the country is plunged into a brutal, brutally hard recession where many people lost their jobs and people can't afford to eat. A lot of problems that would take literally a decade or more to work out, and a very, very, very brutal life for many, many people and you're trying to keep your business going and continue to sell Coke. So, how do you advertise that? And then of course, it goes on "Make it real" in 2005, "Open happiness" in 2009 and so on. So, Coke has been doing this for a longtime. Selling words and phrases are more than just virtue words. They're used to keep your reader reading and make a commitment ultimately to buy from you. So, here are some examples of selling phrase you can use; you can't personalize your writing with your reader's name, "you" is the next best option and for those of you who had English class and were actually remembering some of the things they taught, "you" is second person, right? First person is "I", second person is "you", third person is "he, she" or the singular. So, what you want to do is you want to continue on with using "you" as much as possible. So, the example here is, instead of this computer is easy to use, right, "you" won't believe how easy this computer is to use. Other words like "own." Forget saying words like "buy" or "purchase." That can turn off your readers. Say, "own." You can "own" this today. "Free", everyone likes free stuff, but when you say "free" just to make sure that what you're giving away is actually something that still generates you in that profit. "Secret", this is a wonderful word to use because people love secrets. So, the, you will learn, here's an example; you will learn the best weight loss "secret" of the century. Isn't that terrific? Wouldn't you like to know the best weight loss secret of the century? What is it? Well, weight loss is pretty straightforward and I have definitely had to deal with this, pretty trim right now, but you know I had, I sat in an office and definitely pudged out. So, you know, the secret is you have to eat less and that's just hard to do. If dieting was easy, there wouldn't be a huge multi-mega giant business in our country. "Exclusive", people love exclusive things. Easy to use really works and so on. There's more here in the slides. I don't need to read them all. What I want you to do is go back, read them. There will be a lot of clues here for you in terms of how to handle your assignment. How to do selling? How to persuade somebody to agree with you? But, the most interesting thing that I want you to understand is that, the most important thing I want to understand, is matching your; first of all matching the good or service of the product, what you're selling to the potential customer. So, finding you know, finding who it is that's most likely to buy and that requires a skill and effort, and then matching your message of how you communicate with them. So, since this class talks primarily about the message, the words you use, the choices of words you use, will make a difference whether somebody will buy or not. Not everybody, some people will tune out your message and try to look at the cost benefit; do a cost-benefit analysis and so on, but other people will truly be moved by your choice of words. So, selling messages require more than just providing information. Selling messages require skill as a writer that you are communicating using all the words in your writer's toolbox to communicate effectively with your reader. Okay, enjoy the assignment. Thank you.