If you’re in marketing, you’ve probably been influenced by David Meerman Scott’s New Rules of Marketing and PR. Originally published in 2006 (and updated several times since), it’s had a lasting impact on the practice of marketing.
Now he’s got a new book out, The New Rules of Sales and Service. Again, it’s a marketing must-read. Although I read last fall and included the book on my list of marketing books last month, I haven’t reviewed it here yet. Until now.
Although the title doesn’t say marketing, I’d suggest you put it on your reading list. Because sales and service interactions should be a continuation of marketing efforts and strategies.
Several of the new rules sound familiar to a marketing professional, but apply as well to sales and service organizations. For example:
Rule #1: “Authentic storytelling sets the tone.” Understanding the business story is critical for anyone engaging with the customer, including sales and service. If marketing is creating stories, we need to share them widely and build consensus throughout the customer-facing business.
Rule #2: “Content is the link between companies and customers.” Stop thinking of content marketing as simply a way to generate leads, and start thinking of it as a way to support and nurture your customers.
And another chapter heading reads: “We’re all in sales and service.” So true. The boundaries between marketing and the other parts of the business are blurring. Sales and service teams tend to own ongoing customer relationships, but that doesn’t mean that marketing’s job sends at the time of the sale.
This is particularly true in businesses that maintain a long-term relationship with the customer. Customer loyalty is the life blood of businesses with subscription-based business models. (That’s the topic of my latest focus, subscription marketing.)
The New Rules includes terrific examples, with instructions on topics such as interviewing customers to create buyer personas, engaging with customers in real time, and using great service to generate more leads.
To sum it up, again in David’s words: “Break down the walls between sales and marketing, and your business will improve.”