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  • Positive Polarity Podcast

It’s Sales AND Marketing, Not Sales OR Marketing


Lisa has been in the sales and marketing game for over 25 years and what an exciting game it has been! To say that selling or marketing has changed over that time period is like telling you that water is wet. As a relentless learner, Lisa enjoys discovering new techniques and technologies that help solve her clients’ marketing needs. She started her career after getting her degree in Marketing at UW-Whitewater in B2B sales selling to mid-sized companies throughout southern Wisconsin and found success in relating to small town business owners, being a small-town girl herself. Lisa quickly realized that the quality of the product being sold was secondary to the trust you needed to build with the buyer. The strength of the client relationship is the key to successful selling.

Lisa then took job opportunities that included both the sales and marketing aspects, as marketing is her true passion (although her kids may use the term ‘obsession’). She began utilizing her sales experience when developing marketing campaigns, knowing that if the target audience cannot relate to the marketing message, it’s a waste of time and money.

In March of 2018, Lisa founded Rebel Girl Marketing to help small business owners who know they need marketing yet have no idea where to start. Rebel Girl Marketing helps clients refine their brand, define their ideal client, and then find ways to let everyone know how awesome they really are!

When Lisa is not working, she is spending time with her two children and husband of 26 years. Her passion for creativity is unleashed through photography, cooking and enjoying long hikes through the numerous trails in southeast Wisconsin.

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Tell me about Rebel Girl Marketing. Where you came up with the name?

So, when any entrepreneur wants to start a business, they always start with a basic concept and where they think it might go. And so, then you want to go, okay, how should I name the business? I probably went through 25 names. I would Google it. Somebody already had it. Or I'd ask somebody, they’d say that was kind of silly. So, I'm literally driving and all of a sudden rebel girl just popped into my head. My brother-in-law calls me rebel all the time. So, I started with Rebel Girl and it just stuck. And I got really, really positive feedback with it because it's a fun name, it's a memorable name and reminds me to stay authentic and unique in my marketing approach.

There's another piece to that, Chief Storyteller. So, what does that have to do with being an entrepreneur?

Well, marketing is storytelling these days. There’s a transition of marketing that's happened over the past 25 years. Think about the way that people buy over the past 25, 30 years. Back in the early nineties in the late eighties, it was the vets that generation that bought it was kind of like features and benefits, right? Like just facts. Just tell me what it is, how much it costs and then how fast you can get it to me. And then we went into the next generation, which is the baby boomers, and it was more of a price war back then. It was kind of like, how much can I get for as little as I possibly can get? And then you went into like the next generation and the marketing message was always like, we're the best we're number one. That's kind of the gen X buyers.

But now we have the millennials that in the buying decisions. And they want to know what problems you can solve for them. They're not as worried about like, are you the biggest or the best or the smallest, and what's your price point. They want to know; are you going to solve my problem and then stand behind what that is? And so, storytelling is a way for us to say, this is what we do. This is how we solve your problems. And let me tell you a couple of customers and what they say about our products too. So, you have to tell them the story of how you solve the problem instead of just features and benefits or price wars or anything like that. So, you have to change with your audience.

I liked the storytelling and marketing kind of go hand in hand. Marketing gets the phone to ring. And then from there, that's where I jump in as a sales trainer or you have sales manager. How do you define marketing as if I was a new client coming to you and asking you some of the basics? Where do you start with people?

So marketing is getting people to the brand awareness and get them to come in to call you. And then that's where sales takes over, right? That's the two distinguishing aspects of it. And so, we've had this conversation many times say, but at the same time, you have to get them to play in the same space. And so, marketing, there's the whole left-right brain thing, right? You've got the one side of the brain is all about the creativity and the emotional aspect. And then you've got the other side of the brain that's the logical, fact-driven part. So, salespeople are typically more of the logical people who just like, they've got a quota. But the marketing people don't know the clients. They know what they've been taught as far as marketing is concerned.

There's way to implement it as far as campaigns, but the salespeople understand what the clients want to hear. And so, using my sales experience from a lifetime ago, and in combination with the marketing, you get both sides. It's like, is the marketing message going to be relatable to the client? Because if it looks pretty and it says nothing, it's a huge waste of time and money. So, it helps to have the sales aspect to say, this is what my clients are looking for. And then team up with the marketing people to create a campaign and create a message that is relatable to the clients.

Understanding your ideal client is so important. You know, and me as an entrepreneur and me as a business owner, I’ve own multiple businesses in my life. And I knew in each segment of my business, what my ideal client looked like. So, for us, we would name three, four or five things and be able to identify that. But in your case, how does that translate over into your space? Like you said, you might not know my ideal client. Do you then kind of investigate that a lot with your clients to find out who that ideal client is? Or do you already know that going in a lot of times?

No, I don't always know that going in. I mean, you can generalize and try to figure that out. But honestly, what I find with most of my clients is they don't even know who their ideal client is. They think they know who it is, but then by asking them a series of questions, literally pulling the answers out of them sometimes because they've never actually thought about it is where we really define it. I'm talking about not just the demographics of, region or what size company are the have all those kinds of things. But it's also things like mindset. Is the person that you're selling to actually going to pay the bill on time? Or if you're a consultant, are they going to implement what you say?

So that's where I get into helping my clients understand who their ideal client is. And then it goes beyond that. If that works for this industry, how come you're not applying it to this industry? So, it's not even just defining the client, it's understanding the people within that industry or in that demographic that are the ideal clients. Sometimes people are just order takers. I don't really care what the mindset is of the person. Well, that's one company, but you have to think about these other things.

So, I want to dig down a little bit if we can on that, Lisa, because I'm thinking there's probably an entrepreneur too listening right now and they think marketing, they think I don't need that. So, let's talk in real specifics for some ideal questions that you would ask to really unpack that ideal client.

So, there's always two different clients, right? There's that client that you love working with and you wish you had a machine to generate another 20,000 of them. And then you can have the client who you never want to work with again. And so, by taking past experiences of clients that you love working with, and then breaking that down, what was it about that client that you really liked working with? What was it about them that was really helpful and then figuring out what the demographics are of that's my end? Then also figuring out, obviously, like I said, the mindset of that client what made it such a successful relationship and then try to find more of those. Because when you start in a business, sometimes revenue is revenue, right. I'm taking any client, who's going to pay me because I'm starting my business and I need to figure this out.

Because then you learn those two things. What is the client I want to duplicate, but what's the client that I'm going to try to avoid? Then it also goes into the fact of like where do they hang out? That's a whole other topic of how do you find more of those clients? So, I would love to say that there's a specific question you can ask, but it's more of a think of your best client. And then how do you find more of those. But also think of your worst client and think of those pitfalls to avoid.

So, look at your ideal client and then try and find out what you like about them. How do you get people to do that? Because I know my client at a surface level, but how do I get to know them better? How do I get to understand them and their business better?

Ask them how they measure results. How do you measure results that you're measuring it on a weekly basis, a monthly, quarterly, yearly and ask them what their what their end goal is for the business? Because sometimes what I uncovered is that I have some one client who just recently said well, I have these three parts of my business. And within two years, I want to sell this part. Well, that changes things, right? That changes the mark, the strategy you have with the two companies he wants to hold on to, and it changes the strategy of what we want to do with the third company that they want to sell. And so how you measure results is a great way of figuring that out because in marketing, it's the long game, right?

I know I struggle with consistency. How do you help people with that?

This is why I love marketing is because it's always changing and always diversifying. But you're a perfect example of that. You have this pandemic and you can't go do your trainings and you do this awesome in-person stuff. So, you found in a different medium, right? But at the same time, no two interviews are the same. So, you actually found a way for your marketing to keep going, but it also satisfies the fact that it's never the same each time. You're always having different conversations with people, and yet you're getting the message out there. It's still consistent. And it's still going to be its longevity by doing a podcast. It's it lives infinity. So, you're perfectly capable of doing that. You find a way to get that message out. And just because I say it's gets consistency over time, doesn't mean it's the same message over time.

Do you come alongside people a lot of times and help them encourage them? Sometimes do it for them?

I'm mostly on the front end. I do go with people as well. But mostly I'm on the front end of like the idea of the generation, the strategy, the setting that up the loveliness about all of this is that you don't have to do it alone. There's a massive community out there to help you. It's just like saying you might not want to do it over a long period of time and posting three times a week. So, take two days out of your month and record 10 videos and do like create a bunch of posts.

And it's not a one and done. You can recycle your content just because you post it once. Doesn't mean that everybody in the world saw it. You can use old content over again. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Because especially in social media, not everybody is online all the time. So, they may not see something that you've already posted, unless they specifically go to your page and look for your past posts, but then you can repost it. There's no rule against that at all.

Well, that's good. Cause I love re-purposing content. I think it makes a ton of sense. You know, a lot of people do it. And at the beginning I was thinking to myself, Oh my gosh, how am I going to keep all this fresh and always have some new and great idea. And then you start looking around and realizing that it might be a slant to it that's a little bit different.

You hinted at your sales career in your past life. How does sales and marketing kind of talk to each other?

Sometimes you get so close to your product and your service, you don't see it from any other perspective, but your own perspective. And so, coming from the outside, not working with clients, I don't know their industry really well. And I don't know their product super, super well is actually a benefit because what happens is, I can see it from the buyer's perspective. I can see it from the other side. And I have seen so many pieces out there that look awesome, but they say nothing. They don't tell the prospective client anything about the company or the product. They don't answer any questions. And so, a lot of people like yourself, especially with all the, the DISC you do there's so much to it that you and I may understand the acronyms that we can talk back and forth, but a lot of people out there don't understand what that means.

And sitting back and looking at it from a sales perspective, from a client perspective and simplifying the message is the best way to take my sales experience and apply it into marketing. It's it doesn't have to sound super confident and it doesn't have to be this look at how smart I am marketing. It just has to tell a story; how do I solve the problem?

So how do you take a concept that's complicated and simplify it so that a novice like me can understand it enough to actually buy into it?

So, forget about the features and just sell the benefits. I'm sure you've heard that from other marketing people. It's not a new concept. It's not an original concept of mind, but that's what storytelling is. Forget talking with the features. And let's just talk about the benefits of how that's going to help you. So one of the 10 tips that you talk about also is listen to learn, not to respond, because if you're only listening to respond, you're only thinking about your thoughts. You're not thinking about what the actual person's actually saying, what you want to say. They have zero relevance as to what they need to hear from what your product is. And so, it's that two-fold of talk about the benefits because when you're doing the work, you're thinking about the features, right? How do I do it? What am I doing? You're not talking about the end results for the client. The client wants to know what are the end results the client wants to know what does, how is this going to make my life easier? How is this going to make my people's life easier? And then obviously ROI is always in there. It's about listening to what the client is saying, because sometimes the client will say something that triggers something else that has nothing to do with what you thought you were there in the first place.

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