Today’s interview is with Marcus Sheridan, also known as The Sales Lion – a sales, marketing and personal development blog. Marcus walks us through how he posted a profitable year even through the market crash in 2008.
Through inbound marketing, Marcus was able to transform his pool company into the most visited pool site in the world. This is the perfect interview for you if you’re in an industry that is crying for someone to deliver as much free value as possible.
General inbound marketing strategy – “Let’s take every question we’ve ever been asked and answer it with brutal transparency through a website article.” The “Big 5” question areas that move the needle for most businesses (focus on these at least 70% of the time):
Reasons this strategy works:
“Assignment selling” – Making sure prospects are educated on your products and competitive advantages before taking a sales call in order to minimize sales time, ensure the likelihood of a conversion and avoid “bad fit” customers. For example, if Marcus was planning a meeting with a swimming pool prospect, he might say something like:
“Eric, I’d love to come to your house to discuss pools, but you’re getting ready to spend a lot of money. Before we chat more, I want to send you a few resources to be sure you’re educated, including a free 30-page ebook. It’s a little long, but I think you’ll find it worthwhile. I’ll check in with you before our appointment to be sure you’ve read it. If you don’t have time to read it, that’s fine, but it might mean we aren’t a good fit right now.”
Productivity hack – If you have a time where you normally feel tired, try to get a workout in during this time. Marcus naturally feels tired around 9:00pm, so using this time to catch up on TV from his elliptical gives him the energy needed to get 2-3 more hours of work done at night.
Eric Siu (@ericosiu) is the CEO at Single Grain, a digital marketing agency that focuses on paid advertising and content marketing. He contributes regularly to Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes and more.