Marketing resources, also known as collateral in marketing and sales, refers to the collection of media used to support the sale of a product or service. These sales aids, in addition to promoting and enhancing the company brand, are intended to make the sales process easier and more effective for the sales person.
Marketing resources are different from advertising (though they do advertise the company) in that they are generally used further along in the sales process when a prospective client has been identified and sales staff is making personal contact.
Examples of marketing resources include: Sales brochures and other printed material, visual aids used in sales presentations, web content, sales scripts, demonstration scripts, telephone prospecting scripts, product data sheets, product samples, dvds, cds, etc.
Marketing resources have been found to be highly effective when used. I’ll repeat that: Marketing resources have been found to be highly effective when used.
Sunblock: A Resource For Summer?
Frequent readers know that I live in The Texas Hill Country tucked neatly between Austin and San Antonio. Nearby is a fantastic summertime diversion known as Schlitterbahn; it’s a large waterpark.
Yesterday, my kids packed a cooler with 2 gallons of water, 8 peanut and butter and jelly sandwiches, a handful of napkins, and some plastic cups and a string bag loaded with towels, ball caps and sun block. They loaded my trunk, and piled in and I dropped them at Schlitterbahn until they called me, 10 hours later, to tell me that they were tired and ready to come home!
We’ve done a lot of outdoors stuff with my kids over the years: camping, swimming, cycling, fishing, kayaking, surfing. We’re HUGE on safety, and sun safety is no different than any other kind of safety.
My husband is from Central America and is a big proponent of sun protection and I grew up with an ex-Marine step-father who would tell me every summer that if I got sunburned I’d be court-martialed!
When I picked my kids up last night, they piled into the car happy, tired, and sunburned. I asked the question anyway: “Why didn’t you use sunblock?”
I’ll spare you the rest of that conversation, but it got me thinking: Why is it that we don’t use the tools at our disposal?
Marketing Resources and Network Marketing
I was guilty of the very same thing when I first started in Network Marketing. I thought it was great that I could go to a meeting and pick up brochures and buttons from a table and learn about the company, and it was always convenient when someone I met could reach into his or her bag and pull out just the thing I needed to answer my question (it was even better when they had a sample!) but I didn’t want to be one of those people.
I resented it when I started with company X and the company started pitching me to buy their “Starter Pack” of marketing resources: I thought it was just another ploy to take my money. I grew up in sales, I could sell relics to the pope – I didn’t need that stuff. (Editors Note: My bank account reflected my attitude. I didn’t need to add zeros to my paycheck…I needed to add some digits.)
It Took A Human Resource
That all changed for me when I started working with a personal mentor. He’s one of those tough-as-nails, calls-it-as-he-sees-it, kind of guys – definitely not for the faint of heart, and just what I needed. Over the next couple of years, he systematically gave me a “check up from the neck up” and taught me some priceless lessons.
In a nutshell, what I learned was this: Success leaves clues. The person at the top didn’t land there, he or she climbed there. If you want what they have, do what they did. I guarantee you that they didn’t achieve their success in a vacuum – they had lots of help. And they were able to enlist that help by instilling belief in the folks that worked along side them.
Marketing Resources: I’m A Believer
How do you instill belief? By showing that it’s easy, that anyone can do it, that you don’t have to be a superstar! You only have to be able to hand out a sample or a brochure or a website and call back and see how your prospective client liked what you shared. Easy peasy lemon breezy. That’s what marketing resources are for.
A close watch will show you that those top leaders are masters at handing out those marketing resources. They make it look so simple that you wonder how someone that simple made it to the top of the compensation plan!
Being simple and doing simple are two different things. That master marketer has learned that using the company’s marketing resources, handing out sales aids over and over again, following up with potential clients, doing it consistently, and teaching new folks to do the same, is the key to success. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The “Better Mousetrap” Trap
Nine times out of ten new network marketers over-complicate things. They’re busy building a better mousetrap, forging their own path to nowhere. The “mentor” makes it look so simple that newbies figure it was a fluke, it couldn’t be that easy. Wouldn’t it be better if they did this or that or even THAT instead? They get caught up in getting caught up and they lose sight of the original game plan. The end result: They’re totally sideways, frustrated, convinced that network marketing doesn’t work, and they quit.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for being a trail blazer…but not until you’ve mastered the basics. Mastering the basics requires an investment of your time and a commitment to yourself and your business. Understand that you never “arrive” – a true master is always learning. And regardless of your mastery level, you never discard the basics, you build on them.
Use ‘Em If You’ve Got ‘Em
Every legitimate company will make at least some marketing resources available to you and most companies will have a wide array of sales aids at your disposal. Your company invested in this collateral to help you make sales. They’re there because they work, but they won’t work unless you do, and they won’t work if you don’t use them.
Take a lesson from the masters and keep it simple. Smile, make a friend, share a tool, follow up, and you can laugh all the way to the bank.