You work hard to develop prospects and leads and push them through your sales funnel. All of that effort comes down to the final moment when you make your pitch for the close. In today’s world, that pitch can be delivered in person, on a landing page, or through email. While each situation requires a bit of adjustment in your approach, this is the moment where you either land the sale or the customer gets away.
It’s amazing how many awful marketing pitches are made daily by supposed professional marketers. You’ve undoubtedly observe such fails yourself as your or your company are pitched by salespeople seeking business. The signs of such ineffective pitches include:
- Not being properly prepared, particularly when using multimedia
- Not listening to the customer
- Talking over the customer
- Failing to have needed information on hand
- Making assumptions about the customer’s needs
- Not qualifying the customers need, interest or ability to purchase
The Pitches that Miss
Very few things can ruin a marketer’s day like a pitch gone bad. Discussed below are a few of those situations.
Introducing New Technology
Michael Bay is a well-known and successful Hollywood figure. Samsung was relying on him to make a powerful new pitch for a new product line at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Unfortunately, especially for a media company, all did not go well on the preparation or execution side.
On the other hand, a young startup named Haloid, later known as Xerox held a presentation to announce its new concept of a copier at a local theatre. The business world was skeptical about the prospects of a copier and attended reluctantly. As the early roll-fed copies began to come out of the machine on stage, the cutter failed and the copies began to pile up. Unflustered, Halide’s marketing chief picked up the first sheet and walked out into the audience for all to see, turning a fail into a roaring success.
Introducing a Product Nobody Wants
One of the most failed marketing pitches of all time was the New Coke rollout in 1985. Although the launch was flawless and the company took the time to create an effective marketing plan, they failed to listen to the customer before developing it or the product. Note, however, how the right response and updated marketing plan turned the blunder around.
When Emails, Blogs and Press Releases Fail
For many companies, the digital pitch is the source of success or failure. Many marketers get sloppy with these vehicles because they move too quickly. Instead of taking the time to create an effective marketing plan and targeting it, these marketers just run and go. In other words, they blast their prospects with a shotgun, hoping for enough success to garner some sales.
The long-term effect of such poor marketing discipline is damage to your brand and a dilution of your sales funnel. In an article called One Strike, Bob Garfield discusses the effect of such efforts on your market relationships. He uses the example of an email that simply said "Contributed Article for Your Use!" In dissecting the failed message, Garfield points out how the effort was wasted and soured him on ever reading anything else from the company.
When it comes to your effort to create an integrated marketing plan, first make sure you avoid the big stumbles. Then, you’re on your way to using those leads in a positive way to generate profitable revenue.
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