Paul Sylvestre's Business Strategy and Marketing Blog

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Bad Rap for Marketers

Seth Godin's recent post had me thinking about my own personal experience as a sales person and marketer (see Marketing has a marketing problem). For me, it all comes down to words like honesty, integrity and authenticity. It's about being genuinely interested in the needs of that prospect or customer sitting across from you in the office, and fulfilling those needs under a fair and honest contractual agreement. If you can't do that, you shouldn't be wasting their time or yours by speaking with them.

Which is why my gag reflex kicks in when I hear Reps bragging about the equivalent of "...selling ice to Eskimos" or customers or prospects who expect sales rep to "sell them" on a product or service. This is not bringing integrity and authenticity to the customer-seller engagement, and when the customer expects you to put on a show, it is a sure fire signal that you have just been commoditized. In other words, you are competing on either very basic functional advantages or price, and have no access to the higher level vision or strategy of your customer's organization. If that's the case, you are going to need all the luck you can get.