Duct Tape Selling: An Interview with John Jantsch

John Jantsch has created quite the niche for himself. He is an author, speaker, and marketing consultant who specializes in assisting small businesses, a particular topic of interest for me. (My third book covers small businesses and emerging technologies.) In 2002, Jantsch created the popular Duct Tape Marketing System, designed for small business consultants. Some of my friends are partners and have nothing but good things to say.

John's back with a new book, Duct Tape Selling: Think Like a Marketer-Sell Like a Superstar. In it, he claims that it's no longer sufficient to view a salesperson's job as closing. Today's superstars must attract, teach, convert, serve, and measure while developing a personal brand that stands for trust and expertise. I sat down with him to talk about the new book.

PS: What inspired you to write the book?
JJ: Selling has changed pretty dramatically over the last few years as buyers have so many aveanues to gather information and make assessments about the products and services they wish to acquire. I wrote this book to act as road map for how you must sell today.

PS: Why is selling so different now from the days when your father was a door to door salesman?
JJ: In my father's day the buyer relied on the salesperson for basic information about products and services. Today, the Internet, other buyers and even competitors participate in providing a great deal of that information. Today's sales professional has to help customers discover ideas and challenges they aren't even addressing yet rather than simply showing up when they express a need.

PS: In what ways are sales and marketing no longer differentiated?
JJ: There was a time when marketing owned the message and brand and sales owned the relationship. While both still have independent functions sales must get involved much earlier in the process to help personalize the message and marketing must help sales create messages and tools that help embed them deeper in a client's world. It's all about engagement on the most personal level possible.

PS: Why should sales people focus on marketing strategy?
JJ: I'm not suggesting that sales people take over actual marketing strategy as much as adopting a marketing strategy mindset. A marketing strategy mindset gets them thinking about things like who makes and ideal client for them, how they can differentiate their sales process from others and how they can stand out by doing things like producing valuable content and creating valuable presentations.

PS: What kinds of personal brand attributes are effective for sales professionals?
JJ: I suppose they are the same positive attributes you might think of when you think of any strong brand - things like - value, insight, utility and advocacy

PS: Why doesn't the sales process end at the closing?
JJ: If you are to take a long-term view you must become an advocate for your clients. In other words, you must take the view that a sale isn't a sale until the client gets a result. This is how you build a reputation for delivering value and this is how you become a welcome guest for additional business and referrals.

Find about more about the book at the site, Duct Tape Selling.