No matter what it says on your business card or LinkedIn profile, your title should include Sales and Marketing. We recently shared a PechaKucha presentation on this topic during the GOVIT Conference in the Twin Cities, and the idea is worth sharing here…
The concept is simple. Your business card says you’re an HR leader, graphic designer, admin, or CEO. But, for many of you, nowhere on your business card does it say that you are in Sales and Marketing.
It’s not in your title or job description… or is it?
You likely work with other leaders and staff in our organization. You probably have some outside stakeholders and partners that you collaborate with. Forget for a moment about what your business card or LinkedIn profile says about you. We’ve all had to sell a project up or down the ladder. We’ve all had to sell our teams on a pivot in direction from time to time. We’ve all had to sell someone else on a new way of looking at a challenge.
You may not have signed up for it, but you’re ALL in sales and marketing. HR may not have written it into your job description, but it’s there, guaranteed. No matter your role, position, or title, every single one of us is selling something to someone.
That’s the reality… so how do we begin to flex those sales and marketing muscles? If we’re Jane the IT Director, Jack the analyst, or Sally in cybersecurity – and we’ve never been trained in Sales and Marketing – how do we learn to sell and market our ideas?
Here are three strategies you can start using right now…
- It’s never about you. Remember that kid on the playground, that bully who was always bragging about themselves… “Look at me! Look at me!” You have a face that just popped into your head. Our goal is never to be that kid. Instead, our goal is to win hearts and minds. Whenever you’re trying to sell an idea to someone else, make your pitch about them. You might be excited about all the features that come with a new solution or idea, but remember to make it about the other person and what they want.
- Lead with what they really want. Here’s an example… At home, I have twin 16-year-olds. If four of their friends come over and I order pizza, pizza’s the product. What I’m REALLY buying, though, – what I REALLY want – is six happy kids who hopefully won’t destroy my house. Pizza is just a means to an end. The same goes for the projects and ideas you’re trying to sell. Remember the pizza. Sell your audience the OUTCOME they really want. Maybe that’s growth. Maybe it’s efficiency. Maybe it’s an improved use experience. Don’t work so hard to sell the solution… instead, sell them the outcome.
- Weave in storytelling. From the dawn of time, people have been using the power of stories to create connections and communicate. The ancient Egyptians used drawings to do this. Today, we use things like words, pictures, and videos. No matter the media, storytelling is part of what makes us human. If you’re going to get anyone on board with your ideas, if you’re going to lead teams and collaborate well, if you’re going to gain stakeholder buy-in and open doors, you need to embrace the age-old art of storytelling. There are stories in data and numbers, stories in success and failures, and stories in your own personal examples and experiences.
You now have Sales and Marketing in your job description. It’s always been there, but hopefully today, you’re more aware of it than ever before. And hopefully, today, you come away with some new strategies to sell and market your solutions with confidence. Now, go sell!