In life insurance and annuity marketing and sales anyone can be an “expert.” Just ask and they’ll give you instant ironclad answers. They may take a pass on other issues but not this one. All that’s needed are “fake facts” (opinions) to be an authority.
This may help explain why so much time, money and effort goes down the drain in countless ill-conceived marketing initiatives and sales programs. So, if you want to look smart, then here are faulty assumptions you should avoid:
The role of marketing is to serve sales. Even though it may come as a surprise to salespeople, sales managers, and CEOs, marketing’s role is not to be a handmaiden to the sales department.
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Marketing has its own, distinct job—and that’s to create customers, those who want to do business with a particular brand. And it’s the task of the sales team to get the orders. Of course, they must work closely together and support each other, if they are to make their numbers, but each one has a separate role.
If an idea sounds good, go with it. Your boss rushes back to the office, gets the team together, and announces a new marketing initiative, one he heard about at a seminar. “This is really going to work, so let’s get going,” he says.
New and different ideas are appealing, particularly to the uninformed, who don’t want to waste time getting bogged down in debating whether or not the idea is appropriate or a good fit for the company’s strategic plan. Just do it! Anyway, the boss wants to do it. It’s a textbook prescription for failure.
Buying decisions should be based on price. Far too often, “cheap” is the corporate standard for evaluating marketing and sales programs. “What will it cost?” is a definitive question. If it’s cheap, “Go for it.” A medical office moved to a new location and sent patients an attractive, nicely designed full color postal card—except that there were ink smears on both sides. Without knowing it, they sent their patients the message that they don’t sweat the details.
Jumping on the next big wave will guarantee profits. Don’t get left behind. Be known for being the first to jump on the latest trend. You’ll be a stand out and it will get attention on your resume. And be sure to dazzle everyone with the right lingo. You won’t accomplish much, but by the time they figure it out, you’ll be on your way to an even bigger gig.
Never ask for feedback when you present an idea or initiative. The goal is to get going, not dilly-dally around. Anyway, asking for feedback is the kiss of death. There are always those who will take you up on it; they are naïve enough to think you want their input. If you take feedback seriously, it will only mess up your idea or shoot it down. Think about it, many CEOs and presidents never make this mistake.