Marketing Strategies for the Type of Sale You’re Trying to Make – Simple vs. Complex
In broad terms, there’s essentially 2 different types of sales: Simple and Complex.
Simple Sale – These types of sales are often low risk, routine, widely available, and commodity items. Things that involve a fairly short sales cycle to attain; quick purchases. Some examples of a simple sale are: groceries, hygiene products, restaurant food, and essentially anything you could get at Walmart.
Complex Sale – These types of sales involve multiple steps to purchase and multiple stakeholders in the transaction. Products and services that involve a long sales cycle and extra information is required for delivery. Often these sales are riskier (for the buyer) because they come with a higher price tag. Some examples of a complex sale are: website design, manufacturing machinery, real estate, and anything that requires a level of customization.
Of course, that’s over-simplifying a little bit. Your actual sales may land somewhere in the range between simple and complex. However, no matter which way your sales lean, there are certain marketing strategies you will want to avoid and others you’ll want to use.
Changing Your Marketing Strategy Based on Your Sales Type
There’s a slew of different marketing strategies and techniques out there. It can be overwhelming and difficult to know when to use the various options.
Discounts, information, branding, contests, advertising, direct, indirect, cold calling, coupons, freebies, and value-added products/services are just a few of the many options you have to get people into your sales cycle. Your strategy on each of these depends on the type of sale you’re trying to make.
Marketing Strategies for Simple Sales
When it’s a simple sale, you can utilize some of the more overt marketing tactics. Contests, discounts, and coupons for example. Showing someone that if they try your product they’ll get an immediate cash reduction or savings might just be enough to push them to purchase. The markets attention span on simple sales tend to be fairly short. Commercials showing people enjoying your products, and other branding around your product, is useful. You can also employ direct sales messaging that asks for a person to buy.
For a simple sale, your primary goal should be to increase your market reach (number of people who know about you). The more people using your product the more likely you’ll establish a presence in their mind. That’s how you’ll capture repeat customers.
Stay at the forefront of your market by expertly managing your price point and quality.
Marketing Strategies for Complex Sales
When it’s a complex sale, you can utilize some of the more nurturing marketing tactics. Think about ways to benefit your reputation and authority in your industry. Content marketing, information distribution, and value-added products/services are examples of this. You’ll want to provide a logical and compelling argument for your product/service. Try not to hype things up – it can be off-putting and cheapen your brand.
For a complex sale, your primary goal should be to increase your market intensity (depth of influence on each individual). The more loyal and supportive people are of your service, the more likely they’ll see you as authoritative and credible (and help you sell to others).
Be careful of offering discounts and coupons with a complex sale. It’s too easy to get trapped in forever discounting your services. Usually the sale is complex because you have to spend significant time and effort delivering your service. Don’t sell yourself short! Rather, build your companies reputation. If people see you as “the best” in your industry, your pricing won’t matter as much. They’ll just need to have you because they trust you can deliver the service better than anyone else.
Pick the Right Marketing Strategy for the Right Type of Sale
Take some time to consider your sales cycle. How many steps are there to a successful sale? It is helpful to write it down, and figure out each stage someone needs to commit to you. Every time someone needs to give you money, information, or approval is another stage in your sales cycle. Then begin figuring out the best marketing approach for each stage.
How do you approach your marketing? Do you consider your product or service to be a simple or complex sale? I’d like to hear your own thoughts. Please leave a comment below.