Once you understand fundamentals and the theory and principles that drive them, you can accomplish most anything. The fundamentals are what you fall back on to reason through a situation, position a response or ask a question. All are critical success factors to excellence in marketing and sales.

For example, the diagram above is a simple transistor circuit. There’s nothing special about it, except one thing — no matter where you put it, it acts the same.

Whether it’s in a VHF radio, radar repeater, or an advanced weapons system, it functions the same.

If you understand how and why that simple circuit works, no matter where you come across it and no matter what surrounds it, you know how to interpret what it tells you about the gear it’s supporting.

That’s a powerful principle and foundation of the training I received while in the military. And it’s why we spent countless hours in school studying this simple transistor circuit and numerous others. Once I thoroughly understood why and how it worked and reacted, I could theoretically work on and read schematics for any piece of equipment it was found within.

This simple theory has driven my professional career — understanding fundamentals I can apply to any situation I find myself in.

In marketing and sales the fundamentals you need to master are:

  • How does your customer’s business make money?
  • How does your customer’s customer make money?
  • What are the rules of business your customer must follow to be successful?
  • What problems are your customers working to resolve?
  • What opportunities are your customers working to achieve?
  • What are the benefits of your product or service your customers value?
  • What are the differences in your product or service your customers value?
  • Who competes against your customer in their marketplace and how do they compete to win?
  • What trends are underway in your customer’s market? Why?
  • What regulatory concerns does your customer have?
  • What policies or procedures must your customer follow?
  • What are the limitations of your product or service in your customer’s market?
  • How does your competition compete against you for your customer’s business?
  • What are the fundamental principles your product or service are built upon?

When you’re conversant in the things above, good things happen to you

  • You no longer have sales meetings with your customers, you have business meetings
  • Price falls in the hierarchy of your customer’s purchase decision
  • Access to executives increases, both within your customer’s company and your own
  • You realize your product and service doesn’t really matter. It’s the things you can do for your customer that count most
  • You stop blaming the product for not being able to make the sale
  • You speak in front of a group with ease
  • You don’t fear the trick question…it no longer exists
  • You realize the speeds-feeds-features-and-functionalities of your product are no longer as important or interesting
  • People come to you for advice — coworkers and customers alike
  • You’re more valuable to your customers and your company
  • Promotions and pay raises are easier to get
  • Sales are easier to close

Food for thought.

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