Sales without selling – a Q&A with Krissy Mander
Salespeople are at the coalface of content marketing, speaking with the people who need content, and finding out what works – and what doesn’t – across dozens of different kinds of business. In short, salespeople have their finger on the pulse and we reckon they’re always worth catching up with! We spoke to Krissy Mander, one of our top business development managers, to hear her story.
What’s something important that you’ve learned since starting at Castleford?
Honestly, I know this is going to sound cliche, but what I’ve learned is the importance of content marketing. It amazes me how many companies are still putting this on the back-burner when in fact it’s often more effective at reaching and engaging customers than outbound marketing. It can also be less expensive, which is obviously a big plus.
How do you think content marketing will change between now and 2020?
Well, if we’ve learned anything these past few years it’s that you never know what’s around the corner. But I think video and personalised content will continue to grow, and we’ll also see increased voice search and the use of voice assistants (Alexa, Google Assistant, that sort of thing).
In terms of how we in sales would be selling content marketing in 2020, I can say that Castleford’s services continually evolve and update to meet our clients’ needs, so I’ll continue to identify challenges and provide relevant solutions. I think the role of a salesperson will become much more of a specialist, consultative thing, rather than be seen as business development.
What’s your secret to closing a sale?
You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen myself as a really ‘salesy’ person. I don’t really follow the ‘sales guidelines’ and map out a scripted approach to closing deals. To be honest, I think I’ve always inwardly rebelled against the stereotypical sales training and terminology.
Wait … a salesperson who rebels against sales training?
Yep! From the very start, I’ve tried to connect with and help people. So I barely even use the word ‘close’ – it feels too salesy, haha!
So how does your personal process work?
I’ve always said that I can happily sell anything if I believe in the product or service I’m selling. You know, if it’s credible, reliable, has longevity (in terms of being innovative and forward-thinking), and if I would buy it myself if I was in the client’s shoes.
That is really the key for me from start to closing. I put myself in the client’s shoes and try to understand at each step how they are feeling and what they need in regards to their business, specific challenges and about what we offer. Then I support that through advice or by providing more specific information about our services.
I find that people nowadays want to understand and have clarity around how we work, which I really welcome. We have solid, fine-tuned processes in place that we can be proudly transparent about! It’s the knowledge, credibility, transparency and successes imparted by myself and Castleford as a whole that naturally leads someone to choosing us. So it’s less that a sale is closed, and more that a partnership is begun.
OK, time to learn more about you personally, not just your work. What’s your story?
Well, I fell into sales and business development years ago after I came out of uni studying languages and didn’t know what to do next.
Luckily my brother was in media sales recruitment, and he sold me on the dream of sales – he seemed to find my next best role every couple of years. Looking back, I think I was being pimped! Haha, no I shouldn’t say that. I love my brother and in the long run it worked well for both of us, which I’m happy about.
Do you have any hobbies?
I’ve always been hugely into sports and fitness, so I started crossfit about five years ago and have loved it ever since. I do that about five times per week so that takes up a lot of my spare time!
Something I’d really like is to finally get an English bull terrier (proof that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. Their beauty for me lies in their uniqueness and quirkiness!).
I also wish I could surf as I adore the ocean but I’m not sure I’d start now as I hate not being good at things. On that note, haha, I also wish I was a better cook! I totally admire people who excel at hosting and can whip together an amazing spread.