Experience. Relationships. Personal Connection. A Successful Sale.

I always say that the two kinds of professionals who never go off duty are doctors and salesmen.

Yes it’s exhausting, constantly bombarding your brain with observations and ideas, pitching people you meet at bars or standing in line to get into the bar. Saying the right thing at the right time no matter where you are could mean the difference between a huge sale and… another round of tequila shots that gets you nowhere.

But something I’ve noticed over the past couple years is that now more than ever the personal and business relationships we form are insanely important in marketing. Online social networks, blogs and interactive websites are increasingly more popular choices for marketers than television or radio. I think there will always be niche for print advertising, but I can’t deny the stronghold that active online communities have over advertisers.

Effective marketing isn’t about a message anymore. I can’t simply tell you that a product is great and reliable and that you should buy it. I’ve got to not only show you how fantastic it is, but make you experience it for yourself. My pitch has to be clever, grab you emotionally, make you think (but not too much), but keep at its center the essence of my service or product. Which makes it not a wordy tag line really, but an experience.

I’m able to do this by selling myself, my personality, my work ethic, my skills, even my sense of humor (they don’t call me the King of Mañana for nothing) –- whatever it takes for you to believe there is a reliable, respectable human being behind what I’m selling.

I can’t think of one person who enjoys conference calls, “team building” workshops, trade shows, or far away conventions. Forced interactions with people in an environment no one wants to be in. If anything it’s an excuse to escape from your cubicle and get drunk on the company’s dime. These kinds of things only waste time, money and render little to no results that directly contribute to a company’s overall success and profitability.

My point is that all the players in this game we call marketing –- the employees, clients, and vendors –- are essentially all consumers. It’s a co-operative, really. We’re working for and selling to ourselves. We want ourselves to be happy and content with our economic decisions. As a salesman, I pull those emotional cords by giving them a positive experience they won’t forget. Money doesn’t motivate people as much as you think. It’s quality and substance of the product and the people behind it that are huge selling points.

I treat my employees exactly how I wish I had been treated in my early career. I keep my word to my clients and vendors no matter what it cost me because that’s what I’ve built my reputation on since day one. It’s one of the reasons I’m confident in saying that if WDFA was gone tomorrow, people would care. And not just because their doortags weren’t distributed.

How many young companies can say that?


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