Direct Marketing Article
What Separates the Good Marketers from the Great
By Jeff Beals
If you go to work every day, you might as well go all the way and shoot for
the pinnacle of your profession. It's a competitive world, so set your
sights high. If you're going to take the risk and invest the time, strive
Ever since Jim Collins wrote his best-selling book, Good to Great, in 2001,
business people worldwide have been fixated on greatness. Why do some
companies do so well when a similar competitor languishes? Why do some
companies transition from being merely successful to being truly great? What
traits and behaviors separate the good from the great?
Of course, good-versus-great questions apply not only to companies; they can
be asked of people who want to be great salespersons or marketers.
And remember, everyone is in sales and marketing regardless of their title.
Whether you're selling medical equipment, working in business development or
brokering international business transactions, it's frankly easy to fail.
Salespersons, marketers and dealmakers in every profession commonly fail.
Some succeed, but only a tiny percentage achieves greatness.
The question then is what sales-and-marketing traits will lead you to the
top of your profession?
Character - Great professionals are ethical and honest. They don't tell a
client or colleague what he or she wants to hear, it's what they need to
hear. Leaders with character tend to hire employees who are also upstanding
citizens. Together, they attract clients of character. Everybody wins.
Be competitive - "Second don't mean nothin'," said Hall of Fame football
coach Barry Switzer who led the Oklahoma Sooners to three national
championships and the Dallas Cowboys to the Superbowl. Play to win. Be
persistent. Don't let anything fall through the cracks. Keep track of your
competition and do what it takes to run at least a couple steps ahead of
them. Be bold for the world has no room for shrinking violets.
Interpersonal skills - It sure helps if you possess some charisma, but rule
number one is to listen. Great professionals listen and truly HEAR. When you
are engaged in conversation, remember it's not about you; it's about your
Strategic Thinking - Have a plan that takes into account the big picture.
What's your philosophy? Strong organizations have developed mission and
vision statements. Great individuals need them too.
Focus - Whether you are looking at this from an organizational perspective
or a personal one, determine your competencies and spend the majority of
your time, energy and resources working on those. If you feel like you're
spinning your wheels, ask yourself, "Am I doing what is truly important?"
Have a good product - Contrary to the popular saying, nobody can really sell
ice to Eskimos. If your product or service doesn't stand on its own merit,
trying to sell it is no different than beating your head against the wall.
Others first - Real estate agents, accountants and trustees are said to have
"fiduciary" responsibilities to their clients. In other words, they are
legally required to put the client's interest before their own. No matter
what you do, pretend you have a fiduciary duty to the customers you serve.
If you do this, you will build rapport, which leads to a relationship, which
leads to the holy grail of sales and marketing: trust.
Ability to handle stress - "There are many guys who can paint an incredibly
cogent picture of why a company should be investing in China or why a
football team should run a certain offense," says Joe Moglia, who serves as
both chairman of TD Ameritrade and a head coach in the United Football
League. "The reality is, when things are not going well, when you're losing
money in China, and your guys keep fumbling the ball, how do you handle
Keep prospecting - No matter how busy you are as you put the finishing
touches a big deal, remember to think about future deals. Always take time
to fill your hopper, so you always have a steady supply of business. Don't
get emotionally attached to a certain piece of business, because you give up
your power. Always go where the business is, where your best prospects live.
It makes no sense to fish for business in a deserted lake.
Wrap it up - Ultimately, the purpose of marketing is to get somebody to say
"yes." Know what you hope to achieve from a prospect before you meet him or
her and then keep steering the conversation toward closure.
About the Author:
Jeff Beals is an award-winning author, who helps professionals do more
business and have a greater impact on the world through effective sales,
marketing and personal branding techniques. As a professional speaker, he
delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences
worldwide. You can learn more and follow his "Business Motivation Blog" at