*Note: This article is written from a digital marketer’s perspective.
If you’ve been in business, you’ve heard the benefits of a people, process, and product model. If you’ve tuned into The Profit on CNBC, the disputed King of reviving companies, Marcus Lemonis, will mention the Three P’s as his guiding principle. There may be some dispute on the origin of the Three P’s, but most commonly, Jack Welch created the concept as CEO of General Electric between 1950 and 1985.
In a Nutshell:
People – find the right people for the correct job
Process – create a repeatable and scalable process. The process should cover everything from answering the phone to ensuring a customer’s request is fulfilled efficiently.
Product – Depending on your business, this can be a tangible object or a service. Whatever the case, the product is the final element if you have the first two P’s in place.
The 4th P: People, Again
Fantastic idea! But, what’s next after you have the right people, a solid process, and a good product? In the digital marketing industry, I think the 3 P’s falls short of a potential 4th P: People, Again. I realize most companies will make customer feedback part of the people segment. This P is different. “People, Again” is established to remind salespeople, project managers, engineers, etc., that another person is on the other end of your product or service. This person has put their efforts into creating a successful business or position to help support their families, pay bills, and build a career. Think of the 4th P as mindful selling.
In 2009, I worked for a digital advertising company. The product’s core demographic was adults 18-34. It was a fantastic company with a great product. One day, the local Cadillac dealer inquired about using our product. After speaking with him, I told him his product was not the best fit.
But, in some situations, salespeople do not have the luxury of turning down business. For example, if it’s the end of the month and you are one sale away from making your budget, do you have the authority and security to turn down a potential deal?
Mindful selling is recognizing when your product or service is a fit for a potential customer. If your product or service doesn’t fit, gracefully decline and advise the potential customer on better options.
Your Marketing Business is a Service
Power Marketing is a service. Our primary products are websites, hosting, and search engine optimization. But, we are “selling” peace of mind. If a client has an issue with a broken link on the website, SEO traffic has dipped, or their email suddenly stopped working, our team is prepared to respond with an in-house specialist immediately. That’s why we incorporate support and maintenance into every hosting contract. So, if a website has issues (and all websites do at some point), Power Marketing is one phone call away.
Five Tactics to Support the 4th P
- Don’t Nickel and Dime Customers – As a business owner, there is nothing worse than unexpected expenses. If you work building and hosting websites, there are always going to be issues popping up. Incorporating monthly support and maintenance into each contract can help your customers avoid unexpected expenses. If explained well, customers will pay more for the extra security blanket. But, you have to be precise with the work included within the support & maintenance agreement.
- Have a Direct Contact for Customers – Your website is most likely the first impression a potential customer will have of your business. If your website malfunctions, it will hurt your business. That is why I’m not too fond of the dreaded support email. When your website breaks down, you want to speak to a live person, not send an email to a generic address.
- Mindful Prospecting – This sounds simple enough. But, if you are in a competitive situation with multiple salespeople, it becomes difficult to be picky about the type of company you want to call on. Narrowing your efforts to a target market that can use your product focuses your prospecting and keeps you from selling a product that will eventually fail.
- Having Authority to Say “No” – Having the ability to say “no” not just to clients that don’t align with your product, but saying “no” to clients that potentially may be a time/money suck will help your company become more efficient and effective.
Focus on the 4th P
Whether you are working with a company with three employees or a marketing director of a $100 million company, the person on the other end has trusted you with their project. You create a win/win relationship by focusing on the 4th P.