Scaling Up Your Sales and Marketing I: Learn How Your Customers Think

This is the first article in a three-part series about scaling up you sales and marketing. Links to the next two parts can be found at the end.

Understanding people and how your customers think is an essential skill for business. Everything comes down to whether or not you can convince the customer to pay you for your products or services, as businesses rely on their sales for income.

If you’re looking to scale up your business’s operations, it’s important to be ready for the larger customer base that’ll come with it. You want your sales and marketing strategy ready to grow too, and to build up a team that can handle the change.

This series is designed to help you understand your customers and how to develop strategies to be more attractive to them. When scaling up, it’s important to make sure that everything is ready to go before you start. Expert advice and leadership of these departments could be the difference between successful business growth and underutilised changes. 

Do you really understand your customers?

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a service or a product. Whether you’re a B2C or B2B business, you’re always selling to people. For the most part, everyone works in roughly the same way.

The following 5 ideas provide actionable suggestions that can be applied no matter what market or industry you operate in. They’re the cornerstone to successful sales and marketing. If you’re newer to sales and marketing a briefer summary can be found with these sales and marketing essentials.

1. Emotions make our decisions 

Our desires are driven by our emotions and feelings. We can be logical when making a decision, but really it’s how it makes us feel that ends up swinging the choice. 

When choosing between two options where one is technically better, but not by much, it’s not uncommon to choose the one that makes us more excited or happy. This will happen even if that is the one that’s not actually as good a fit.

When designing the product or service, what was it that got you excited?

You want to make your customers excited too, so they can see things the way you do and want to buy what you want to sell.

2. What about me? 

Most of the time customers think about themselves first. This isn’t being selfish, but is completely natural. When faced with a choice, the first question most people ask – even if they don’t realise it – is how it will affect them.

We can’t help but look from our own angle. Sometimes this is our desire to make someone happy, or to see something we care about succeed. Sometimes this is how to get out of a problem we’re in, or how we can benefit. 

This means we respond better to things that make it clear what effect it will have. We like arguments that feel personal and are obvious about their benefits.

Think about how you talk to your potential customer when you try to sell to them. Do you talk about your business a lot, or do you talk about them? 


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3. Like to feel involved

People enjoy feeling involved and active in their life. Have you ever seen a main character in a movie that has no agency? It’s annoying to watch someone being dragged along without making choices, and that applies to us as well.

We’re more likely to go along with things that make us feel involved and engaged. Even if there’s not much difference, we like to feel like we’ve made the decision and not had it made for us. Sometimes that choice is to let someone else choose, but even then it’s because we want to.

As part of your marketing strategy, consider how you can get customers more involved with you. If it feels more like a relationship where they’re valued, they’ll be more likely to keep coming back to you.

4. Trust independent voices 

It’s natural not to trust someone as much if you can see a clear, obvious benefit to them from doing what they say. People place greater trust in things they don’t see benefitting the speaker, as it seems more independent. We trust in the public opinion or in facts and figures, because we don’t see a reason for them to lie.

There’s a reason why people read reviews, look for ratings or percentages. This is the opinion of our peers and not the seller, so customers think they can trust it more. It’s important to note that many find it more trustworthy when there is some dissent too, and it doesn’t seem too perfect.

What social proof do you have available? Have you run any consumer research or have access to any reviews? If not, it might be worth starting to get some.

5. Follow our habits

People are comfortable around what’s familiar. There’s often a wariness towards that which we don’t understand and it can take time to adjust to something new. 

When faced with choice paralysis, it’s familiarity that helps. We choose things we know work for us and place trust on them. This is the foundation of brand loyalty: trust in the familiar. 

You want to be the one that stands out to them, so just make sure your name is out there. You also want them to want to come back to you because they know you’ll deliver, so think about your current customer experience and how it can be improved.

To summarise

You may already be able to see some of the ways you can work this into your marketing campaigns. If not, then don’t worry. The next article in this series will look at how you can make the most of customer psychology. 

One of the first things you should do when trying to market yourself is figuring out what makes you special. Writing your value proposition gives you the launching point to build your brand from. 

See part 2 to learn more about how to prepare you sales pitch, or part 3 to see how you can get the most out of your sales team

When you’re scaling up, you want great marketing to generate more leads and great sales to convert them. This is how you maintain your growth. Contact us and see if a Part-time Marketing Director could be what you need to prepare your business’s marketing strategy to support your marketing team for your growth.

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Written by: John Courtney

John is highly ranked in the Top 100 UK Entrepreneurs list by City AM and is winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from techSPARK. He has been a Board Director himself for over 40 years and first started placing Non-Executive Directors over 25 years ago. John founded and ran seven of his own businesses including a Management Consultancy for 10 years, a Corporate Finance offering for 10 years and a mid-sized Digital Agency for another 10 years.