3 Common Sales & Marketing Mistakes You Don't Want To Make

3 Common Sales & Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

Mistakes. We all make them, but if we can learn from the mistakes of others and avoid them, then all the better. Diane Helbig with Helbig Enterprises is going to share 3 common sales & marketing mistakes you don’t want to make.

Watch This Episode


Listen To The Podcast

Subscribe To The Podcast

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Google Podcast
Stitcher
iHeart Radio

Read The Transcript Here


Podcast Transcription

3 Common Sales & Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make



Tim Fitzpatrick
We all make mistakes, unfortunately, but if we can learn from the mistakes that others make, all the better. That is why I have a special guest with me today and she is going to share with us three common sales and marketing mistakes you do not want to make.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Realto Marketing, where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the right plan. I am super excited to have with me Diane Helbig from Helbig Enterprises. Diane, thanks for taking the time to chat today.

Diane Helbig
Oh, thanks for having me on. Tim, I'm thrilled.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, absolutely. So we were talking beforehand. It's kind of hard to believe we're coming into Memorial Day weekend as we shoot this. I don't know where the first half of the year went here.

Diane Helbig
Oh me either. It is flying by.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It is flying by. So before we dig into these common mistakes, we'll learn a little bit more about you and what you're doing with your business. But I want to start by asking you some rapid fire questions. Help us get to know you.

Diane Helbig
OK. Go.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You good to go. OK, let's do it when you're not working. How do you like to spend your time?

Diane Helbig
Gardening and walking my dog.

Tim Fitzpatrick
OK, those are all good healthy things. Right. What kind of dog?

Diane Helbig
Border Collie Mix.

Tim Fitzpatrick
OK, Border Collie mix. So I have a I have two dogs. One of them they say is a border collie mix. But it's like Border Collie Shepherd Lab. He's like 70 pounds and he's a bull in a china shop.

Diane Helbig
Yeah, mine's a little bigger than I think he's supposed to be. So he's got I mean, he definite he's a rescue. Other things at him.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Well, they're smart dogs. Yes. What's your hidden talent?

Diane Helbig
I can sing.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You can really.

Diane Helbig
Mm hmm.

Tim Fitzpatrick
OK, what do you like to sing?

Diane Helbig
Motown and you know, like Stevie Wonder. Fleetwood Mac, that kind of thing.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Very cool. I'm not going to put you on the spot right now. This is not an audition for American Idol. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Diane Helbig
The best piece of advice I was ever given was when you're in leadership, you have to deal with people based on who they are, not on who you are.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That is a fantastic piece of news.

Diane Helbig
It was great. It was a long time ago and I still remember it because.

Tim Fitzpatrick
We have to be chameleons, if you will, and adapt, right? What's the one thing about you that surprises people?

Diane Helbig
That I have a tattoo.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Really? What's it of?

Diane Helbig
It's a sun and my daughter has the exact same one.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Oh, very cool.

Diane Helbig
In the exact same place.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I like it. How long ago did you get it?

Diane Helbig
Let's say my son's twenty four, three years ago.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Three years. Wow. And before that, you had had no tattoos?

Diane Helbig
Oh, yeah. And I never thought I would ever get one.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Your daughter's to blame.

Diane Helbig
Yes. As a matter of fact, she is.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Oh, that's interesting, because what I've usually heard is once you get one tattooed, the desire to get more becomes much stronger.

Diane Helbig
Well, with her, that's definitely true. I do not have a desire to get more.

Tim Fitzpatrick
OK. Yeah. So you just got it for her. So the desire there, you're not having to fight that desire. OK, I like that. So what does success mean to you?

Diane Helbig
Success to me is so individual, it's so personal, I think for me it's having people around me who I love doing what I enjoy doing and having an impact on the world in some fashion, and being joyful.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Sounds like success to me.

Diane Helbig
Right? it'simple.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, well, hey, that's something most of the times, the simplest things are the better. Where's your happy place?

Diane Helbig
Lake Choctaw, Ohio.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Lake Choctaw. I have I, I can say I've never been there, but I'm writing it down. Put it on my list.

Diane Helbig
Excellent.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Lake Choctaw. What qualities do you value in the people that you spend time with?

Diane Helbig
Humor. Integrity. Honesty and that they communicate.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Man, it's hard to communicate well.

Diane Helbig
Yeah, sure, it is.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's definitely a very good skill and value to have. So tell us a little bit more about what you're doing. You're I know you're working with small business owners. How are you helping them with what you're doing at Helbig Enterprises?

Diane Helbig
So thank you so much for asking. I work with small business owners and whatever is challenging them in their business, whatever they are not able to overcome on their own. So it could be that they're working really hard, but not getting anywhere. So they need systems and structure. It could be that they don't know how to sell at all. And so they need guidance and a plan to actually get that done. It could be that they're having employee issues and they don't know how to communicate with people to make sure we're on the same page. So leadership skills, time management, it's really if they are having if something is broken and they have tried to resolve it themselves and they haven't been able to, I can get in there with them and learn who they are and uncover why things are happening the way they are, and then come up with a strategy that works for them that they can then implement.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. So if they have something broken, you can help them fix it.

Diane Helbig
Usually.

Tim Fitzpatrick
How did you get into this? Like what did you do before you started your business?

Diane Helbig
So immediately before I was in sales and before that I was in leadership in small. I always worked in small businesses. I was the director of operations for a company in Michigan and was responsible for three locations of employees onboarding and that sort of thing. So I got to learn about leadership in business. I had some pretty good role models as well and teachers. And then I went into sales actually for that company and then left there and went to another company. So I sold services, products. You know, you name it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, so your experience was really it was pretty varied, so you got to see it on all sides of it, which positions you really well to do what you're now doing.

Diane Helbig
Yeah, it really did. And I got to watch people struggle. It's unfortunately but that was part of what led me to do this is that I knew I had developed skills that worked and I was watching people struggle in a way that I thought was unnecessary. And so I thought, you know what, if I can help them overcome those things so then they can be more successful. I would love to be doing that. So I did.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, that's awesome. Because we certainly don't need to suffer in silence when it comes to business stuff. So that's the help we need is out there. We just need to go out and find it. So, yeah, well, I'm looking forward to digging into some sales and marketing talk here. We're going to talk about some three common mistakes people make and sure we'll dig a little bit deeper as well. But let's start on the sales side. Why do you say that selling doesn't work? And how can we how do we build a business if we're not going to sell?

Diane Helbig
That's my favorite question.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, it's a great question.

Diane Helbig
Right. I say selling doesn't work because of how we have been taught to sell. It's all about convincing, persuading, doing a lot of talking, not doing any listening, thinking, we know just a whole lot of behaviors that are actually counterproductive. They don't get us the sale. They don't get us the relationships that we need. They and I submit that most small business owners don't like to behave that way. So then they don't then they either do it badly or they don't do it at all.

Diane Helbig
And we do have to engage in activities to grow our business. We just shouldn't sell like we've been taught.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Or close people. Yeah. So do you have any ideas or thoughts as to why like why this was the way it was and what caused this shift, because there are certainly a lot more people that are moving away from that type of selling. You know, I would say that type of selling actually is probably more the exception than the rule at this point. But I, well, because I don't it's like you said, people don't like doing that, so they don't do it, you know, and then there are the people that still do it because that's the way they were taught and. But I don't know. I've always felt like people are smart. I mean, they can see they feel it. They can see through that. And nobody likes being in that position. So what thoughts do you have as to why that started to shift?

Diane Helbig
Yeah. So I think what happened was if you think about pre Internet, the salesperson was the person who had all the information. They knew everything about their industry. They knew everything about their product or service. And if they were good, they knew about their competition. They knew what was good and bad about their competition. So the consumer really had to rely on the salesperson to educate them. So and the salespeople knew it. Right. So the whole mode was you go in, you do a really slick, really persuasive, really eloquent presentation, talk about the features and benefits, the bells and whistles and and do it in a way that they will be eager to buy. So it's convincing. Right. Well, then the Internet happens. And so and let me just say that people didn't like that back then, but they didn't necessarily have a choice, because it was really not possible for them to get educated. So. There weren't a whole lot of choices. Well, then the Internet comes up and all of a sudden their information is everywhere. Companies are putting all their information on their websites because these are now their brochures. Right. There's a whole shift to making sure that you are out there and you are presenting information and getting earned media and whatnot. And now the consumer is so much more educated that they are doing their research before they're ever having a conversation with you. Right. So they've already made some determinations in their head about what they need and want. Now some of the information they're getting might not be good information. We know the Internet has information. It's not all true. But it doesn't matter because they're coming at it from a position of knowledge or believing that they are knowledgeable. So they don't have to put up with this anymore. They can do their research. They can decide who they're going to have conversations with. They what they're really looking for is someone they can trust to tell them the truth and to partner with them to help them solve a problem. Whatever that problem is, they're looking to be wowed.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So how do we if we're not going to persuade or convince or use sales, black magic, or whatever it is, how do we do it?

Diane Helbig
Yeah, well, I firmly believe that what we need to do is get real curious and engage in discovery in every aspect of the selling process. So when we shift our mindset from I got to be selling, I got to be talking, I got to be looking for clients to you know what? I got to be really curious. And I got to be open to learning and hearing what people are telling me in a broad sense, not even just around the thing that I sell. Then I can be of more value. I can help them problem solve. I can connect them to resources. I can also build a community around my business so that when I have a prospect that I want to learn about, I can maybe get an introduction to them because I've built this really great network of people, this community around my business, people who trust me. So it's more about the relationship building and the process to some degree, but discovery completely. If being you know, if we are curious in our mindset, then we're not looking at everybody as if they are tonight's dinner.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Yes. So keeping that in mind, you know, most of us, we have some type of initial conversation with a potential client. What kind of tips or recommendations do you have? You know, what should the structure of that initial conversation be?

Diane Helbig
So I it's a good question. I think sometimes it depends on the industry. I really think that a salesperson should seek the meeting, not the sale, and should really be interested in learning about their prospect. And asking a lot of questions. Not doing a lot of talking. So, you know, just so and we have to have those questions available to us, because what we're trying to do, what a lot of salespeople don't realize is what you are doing is you're trying to get an answer to two questions. Can you help them? And do you want to help them? OK, because not every client is a good one. Not every prospect should become a customer. And so we have to take these blinders off and be very present in the conversation so we can pick up on cues and clues and who they are.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Yeah. So ask questions. Listen. And your goal is to determine, can I help this person and am I a good fit to help this person?

Diane Helbig
Right. Do I want to. Yeah, yeah. You get to make that decision.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. Yeah. You know, it's it's kind of like I view it like this. So many people who are out looking for jobs think that they're the ones being interviewed. And I've always felt like, no, the candidate should be interviewing the company just as much as companies interviewing them. This is the exact same thing.

Diane Helbig
It is.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You know. And so, yeah, know your worth and know that you're evaluating whether you're a good fit.

Diane Helbig
That's exactly right. That is exactly right. These you know, if you're in business for the long term, these are going to be long term relationships and they could go deeper. Just from the initial sale. So you don't want to get into a long term relationship with someone where it's going to be difficult for both of you, where it's going to be unpleasant and you're going to dread every time they call or email. That's not good for anybody. And I submit you're not going to make money that way. Not about the revenue. You know, it's about the profit. And you're not going to get to goal having a whole bunch of clients you don't like.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I totally agree. So let's jump in networking. A lot of small businesses, referrals, networking is a very strong Legian source. So when we talk about networking, in your opinion, what are people getting wrong and what should they be doing instead?

Diane Helbig
So the easy answer is what they are doing wrong is they are looking for sales instead of looking for relationships. So there's a lot that they do wrong because of that. They walk into a networking event handing their business card to everybody, talking way too much about their product or service. You know, they feel like they're on and a lot of times they will go someplace and they will actually survey the room with, you know, can I see who looks like a potential customer? And they will, I've had people even say to me, you know, I don't need the small talk over here. I don't need these conversations over here. I need to get business. OK, you're not going to get business while you're networking, so stop. Right. You are going to get the exact opposite of what you're looking for because people aren't going to want to be around you. They don't like that behavior. You don't know whether they even need what you have to sell or once again, whether you want to work with them. And I submit to you, you do want that small talk. You do want to just be talking to people and getting to know them because you have got to build this community around your business. You need resources, you need referral partners. You need business friends, colleagues who you can have meaningful conversations with, growth sort of conversations. You're not going to find those people if you're only looking for customers, you're going to miss out on really valuable relationships because your head's in the wrong place.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, so their initial, their top priority in networking is the wrong priorities.

Diane Helbig
Yes, yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's the analogy that I always hear people bring up, which I think most of us can understand, is like if you met a potential date at a bar, you're not going to walk up, introduce yourself and say, "Hey, let's go get married." Right?

Diane Helbig
Exactly.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's all there's a process here.

Diane Helbig
Yes, right. That's exactly that is exactly right. And think about it for a minute. If everyone went, let's say 30 people go to a networking event with the goal of getting a client, that means every single one of them is going at people. Every single one of them is talking. None of them are listening. Is anyone going to accomplish that goal? No, because no one's listening. And would you ever go back? No, you wouldn't, because you'd be thinking yourself, and if people think about this, they're thinking to themselves when people when the insurance guy walks up to him and starts telling them all but and asking them, you know, do they have their house covered in the set? The other thing they're thinking, "Why are you talking to me about this?" Right. "I don't need it. I don't know you. I have my brother in law's, my insurance agent", you know, whatever it is, you know, and then it's like, OK, well, "You know what? You're telegraphing that you're only interested in me if I'm a potential client for you. So you know what? See you later."

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well and it's. This kind of goes back to your first point about sales. It's the same stuff, right? We need to be in sales, we need to be curious. We need to ask questions. It's exact same thing from a networking standpoint. We need to be curious about those other people and ask them questions, because, again, we're all smart enough at this point and we've all been in this situation where, guess what? We need somebody at a networking event and we're asking all the questions and they ask nothing in return about what we're doing, whether they said anything or not. They've just communicated, "I don't care about you. And I'm moving on." So, we're all smart enough to pick up on that at this point.

Diane Helbig
So we need. So stop her.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Just stop.

Diane Helbig
Please.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. So it's a process and we need to give it time. Building relationships doesn't happen overnight. And I think that's probably another mistake a lot of people make is they don't give relationships a long enough period of time to develop before they just give up on it.

Diane Helbig
I completely agree with you. And so if you've ever gone to a networking thing where you meet someone and they're all excited to meet you because they've gotten referrals from someone in your industry in the past, so they say, We should connect and we should refer each know we should exchange business cards and be referring each other business because, you know, you are exactly who is a great referral source for me." OK, maybe. But A, I don't know how you work. I don't know if you have integrity. I don't know if you do. If your clients like you, if you return phone calls, if you're and you don't know any of those things about me. So just because I look like an ideal referral partner, we still have to get to know each other.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, we still have to talk. And, you know, it's interesting, too, because there have been times where I have had initial conversations with people and I felt like I had a pretty good idea of what they did. But as I continue that conversation, you start to peel back the layers of the onion are like, "Man, I really didn't have a very good idea of this until we had chatted to three, four, or five times."

Diane Helbig
Right. Right. So that's right. It's like that first date, you know, we're on our best behavior on the first date and then.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. The other thing that I always thought to like from a dating standpoint was like, look, if you're having a hard time having a conversation the first time you meet, this ain't going to work. You shouldn't have any problems having a hard time talking about anything.

Diane Helbig
Right. That's right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So, you know, if you just meet somebody, whether it's, you know, personally or professionally, you should be able to have a pretty good conversation because there's plenty of questions to ask people.

Diane Helbig
And it's easier to have conversations with people when you aren't thinking about having to sell them something. This is why selling doesn't work, right, cause when we're thinking about selling. We're all in our head and there's our focus is in the completely wrong place.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, my guess is when you're in that state, too, you're not paying attention to what's being said.

Diane Helbig
You're right. You're right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You're constantly thinking about, oh, well, how do I need to shift this conversation? Where can I take it rather than just being present in the moment.

Diane Helbig
Yeah, exactly.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome stuff. So I want to shift gears a little bit and get into ideal clients. And this is always this is something that is near and dear to my heart. Just from a marketing perspective, we are always talking about the fundamentals, your target market, your message, having a plan. You don't have those. You're never going to have long-term success and within your target market or your ideal clients. So why, let's talk about this. Why is identifying our ideal clients so important?

Diane Helbig
Yeah, I think it's important for a couple of reasons. I think the first one is because it really gives you the opportunity to have real clarity around who you love to work with. And it doesn't mean those are the only people or companies that you're going to work with, but the other thing that it does is it keeps you away from the bad clients. So I put I believe there's like three categories. There's I'm a winner and she's your ideal client. She's everything you love. She's you know, she checks every single box. Then there's Mr. Me Too, who, yeah, he checks a lot of the boxes, not all of them, but not awful. And then there's deadbeat Dave.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Diane Helbig
Deadbeat Dave is difficult. Beats you up on price. Doesn't do his part. Doesn't partner. Is always complaining. Never satisfied. He's not going to refer you, he's not going to be happy, it's going to be a slog to do business with him and it's not going to be good for anybody. And the way we know what he looks like is by knowing what our ideal client looks like.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. So when you have a picture of what your ideal client looks like, you now have a, you know, a guidepost that you can compare people to as you have conversations. Right?

Diane Helbig
Right.

Tim Fitzpatrick
But without that, you don't have anything. So there's no structure there in place. RIght?

Diane Helbig
And you don't know how to message. Like you said, that's why it's so important in marketing, because you message to your ideal client in a certain way because they're going to hear things in a certain way. If you try messaging to everybody, you're really messaging to nobody. Right. Because no one there's nothing for them to grab on to. So knowing who your ideal client is and what they value and what matters to them, the problem that you solve and all those things gives you the opportunity to have consistent conversations around your value from their standpoint, from how they see it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So when you start to work with the client, what process do you go through if they need help identifying their ideal client?

Diane Helbig
I actually have them go through their top 20 percent of clients and detail just bullet point characteristics. So how did they get that client? What is the size of that client? What's the geography? What sort of revenue do they realize? What what is the product or service that you're selling to them? What's their personality? I mean, they have to go granular to really get to, so why is it that this client is one that you just love?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Why are they ideal?

Diane Helbig
Exactly. And then we spend a little bit of time on now let's think about clients you hated, couldn't stand. Hopefully you don't have them anymore. What is it about them. Because really getting that visual is valuable. It's important.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, you touched on this earlier, and I think it's probably something that a lot of people might gloss over. But it's not just, you know, the numbers about the people, the demographics about them. It's what type of people they actually are. What are their thoughts, their feelings, their aspirations, the results they're looking for. How do they work? Deadbeat Dave, does, the way you described him, he didn't value what that client did. He was beating them up on price. Well, those are all things that you want to have in that ideal client profile. They value what we do. They you know, for somebody like you and I that are coaches, consultants, it's they see the value in partnering and working with an outside provider. You know, all those things are you know, they're psychographics. That's what they are. And we need to get those psychographics as well as the demographics into that profile. I love the fact that your thought process here is very similar to mine, starting with, "Hey, let's look at the clients that you've worked with that you really enjoy. And why did you why are they good clients?" Because I can't remember who said it, but people talk about it all the time. Success leaves clues. Well, so let's look at that and pull that out. One of the things you touched on that I really like, too, is with the clients that you have worked with that you didn't like, what was it about them? Because that's a really easy thing to skip. So if you are having a tough time. Getting some of that information from your clients, your loved working with. Well, it's a lot of times it's a real easy to identify what we hated about working with somebody so we can just get those down on paper. And the exact opposite is what we're looking for.

Diane Helbig
Exactly. That's exactly right. Yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love that.

Diane Helbig
You have to look beyond the thing. The problem that you solve, unfortunately, I think that's where most people focus with, "OK, you have the situation, I, I have the solution. Let's just focus on that and talk about that." And there's so much more to the equation than just that. That's only part of it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, well, I mean, here's a perfect example is I may talk to somebody. You may talk to somebody that has a marketing issue that we can help with. But if they don't really value marketing and don't see why they need it, well, then we can't help them. So, I mean, that's a psychographic element that has to be in place for them to be an ideal client for us.

Diane Helbig
Yes, exactly right. That's right. Because you don't want to waste your time on people and companies where it just isn't a fit. You know, what I say is you want all of the right business, not all of the business. You don't want one hundred percent market share. You want all the right business. And so really knowing who your ideal client is and then doing discovery, asking questions around these things is how you get to knowing for the most part. Are people going to fool you. Yeah. Maybe you're going to end up in but you'll be able to get out of it quicker because that light bulb will go off and you'll be able to say, "OK, you know what? This isn't working."

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it, so this has been fantastic, Diane, you have dropped some serious value bombs here, so I just want to touch on this. So we talked about selling get out of the persuasion, convincing realm, and start asking questions and being curious. Same thing goes for networking. Nobody wants to be sold they can see through it. Just take the time to get to know people. And identifying your ideal client. We dug into that a little bit. What other last minute words of wisdom or thoughts do you want to leave us with today?

Diane Helbig
So one thing that I think might sort of gel all this and make it easy for people is to remember this. The more you think about selling, the less you will sell.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. It's great.

Diane Helbig
So it's the subtitle of my book. Oh, my gosh. So just remember that if your mind is on selling, you're going to get the opposite. So you need to it's a mindset shift, not necessarily an easy one, but it's an important one.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your wisdom with us today, Diane. If people are interested in reaching out to you, where is the best place for them to go?

Diane Helbig
You know, I think my website that you have scrolling here, Helbig Enterprises, they can schedule a 30 minute complimentary phone consultation. They can sign up for my newsletter. They can download a free chapter of my book. There's all sorts of things there.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. So if you like what Diane shared with us today, please reach out. I would highly encourage you to do that. It's Helbig Enterprises that H-E-L-B-I-G Enterprises dot com. So don't hesitate. Jump on over there and reach out. Diane, thank you so much for taking the time. I really do appreciate it. And thank you for those that are watching, listening. Really appreciate it. Again, I'm Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing. If you want to gain some clarity on where to focus your marketing right now to get the best return, hop on over to our website, Rialto Marketing dot com, that's R-I-A-L-T-O marketing dot com click on the Get a free consult button. I'd be happy to chat with you and give you some clarity on where you need to focus right now. Thanks so much. Next time, take care.


Connect With Diane Helbig


Links From The Episode


About the Author Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help service businesses simplify marketing so they can grow with less stress. We do this by creating and implementing a plan to communicate the right message to the right people. Marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the RIGHT plan.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: