Let’s call out Marketing for what it is
I want you to ban the word Marketing in your rural business and call it Sales Support instead.
Brace yourself for the howls, complaints and massive amount of crap you’ll get when you put your big boy pants on and announce this.
“Sales Support?? WTF??? You’ve got to be kidding right?” your rural marketing team say as they put their 3M post-its down from yet another brand planning workshop.
This response tells you all you need to know which is this:
Sales is such a dirty, objectionable word to them.
Marketing sounds way sexier and much more mysterious than”I work in sales support” right?
Course it does.
For most marketers, sales is such a connotatively-loaded word they feel it’s beneath them and their sense of self worth (or even inflated sense of self-importance for some).
Yet it’s why the top 10% of rural sale reps earn 4-5x what most Marketing Managers makes (I know livestock agents making $800k a year).
Because those agents or rural reps get results.
And in this life, your pay is aligned to your value.
It’s bloody hard to prove value if you aren’t adding any.
I’m betting you could turn off half your rural marketing now and you wouldn’t notice any difference (and you won’t unless you’re measuring it).
This is because most of the time your rural marketing is talking to itself in your own echo chamber with a few thumbs up from your fellow workers, your agencies and your Mum.
Your marketing team are too scared to face these facts as they run from workshop to workshop and meeting to meeting without actually doing any attributable work.
I call it playing “the badge of busyness”.
Here’s the truth: no one’s fooled, especially Management.
Most marketing managers I’ve met (with some exceptions) are some of the most insecure species I’ve ever met.
When you boil it down the behaviour is about simple psychology: fear comes from perceived threat.
They are scared:
- scared of being found out for what they are (defending outputs instead of money-making outcomes)
- scared of being exposed for their deficiencies (instead of being open-minded to becoming better)
- scared of being held accountable (instead of welcoming the A word which is part and parcel of being a true professional)
Imagine living a professional life where you’re constantly looking over your shoulder for threats to your significance, social standing or survival.
I get worn out just thinking about it.
And when times get tough which budget line gets a line through it first?
Usually for good reason because you cannot defend the un-defendable.
You’re either you’re adding value or adding cost.
Awareness, engagement or Facebook follower metrics are vanity metrics that won’t cut it at the Boardroom table and because of this Marketing gets cut.
Executive and C Suite want results. They want ROI. “We spent X and got Y.”
Simple stuff really but marketers make it so more complicated and mysterious than it needs to be.
This is the language of business which so many marketers fail to understand.
And because they aren’t often round the table, Marketing find themselves on the menu.
So this is what I want you to do:
I want you to help your marketing pals out by being of service to them so they can serve you in sales:
- Give them the specificities they need to form more effective marketing messages so they can connect with the conversations and questions your rural customers have in their own head (the best marketers know their market implicitly and always stay close to their customers)
- Give them the insights and intel you’re picking up on the front line (these are literally GOLD and you need to share them freely to fuel your marketing so stop complaining and start collaborating)
- Take them with you in the truck so they can see and hear what customer are saying, thinking or doing with their own eyes and ears (you build bonds for all of you)
I know I’m being tough on marketing here but the reality is you get the marketing teams you tolerate.
Same for sales.
Work with them.
Your marketing team can only help you as much as you help them.
I’m on a mission to elevate the world’s perception of rural sales reps.
I do this by teaching and training rural sales teams and their managers new skills that increase their confidence and capabilities so they make more sales. We cover lead generation and marketing too so you never have a lack of leads.
Make sure you Follow me and Subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss out on any of my articles : )
PS. Whenever you’re ready…here are 4 ways I can help grow your rural business:
1. Grab a free copy of my book – it’s the roadmap to helping you make more rural sales quickly, easily and simply. Click here
2. Join our How To Master Rural Sales Psychology Group – our private Facebook community where I share a ton of free tools and resources. Join here
3. Sign up for our Rural Sales Success® Programme – we will teach you and your team how to get to the next level. Email me back with the word “SALES” and I’ll send you the details.
4. Work with me – if you’d like to work with me and smash your 2022 sales goals, email me back with the word “WORK” and tell me a bit about what you do and what you need help with most.