Is it Better to be a Salesman or an Educator
By Marc Reifenrath on February 13, 2018 in Digital Marketing
Every business wants to sell more. Whether you are selling a physical product or asking your consumer to purchase your services and expertise, your company relies on sales. The true art of selling is an elusive craft that takes time, passion and courage. To sell in today's world is tough– it’s noisy and crowded. So what is the best way to “sell” someone on your product or service?
For me, this is an easy question to answer. I’ve always been a firm believer in being an educator rather than a salesman. People want to have a strong understanding of what they are buying and feel like they’ve made a well-informed decision. We also call this consultative selling. At the heart of it, people are looking for answers to their questions. They are likely doing research and desire to be taught something. They do not desire a hard-sell. This is what makes educational content so powerful!
Advantages of educational content
When properly executed, a content strategy can be an effective way to meet your business goals. For instance, the goal of our Spinutech blog is to educate our existing clients and potential clients alike. We feel strongly that by showing our expertise off through the content on our site, users will quickly see that we know what we are talking about. The best way to describe this strategy is that you are planting a mustard seed. It will start small and take time to nurture. We desire to slowly build trust and ultimately gain business through this content strategy. Here are some examples of business goals you may address through content strategy:
- Increase consumer trust
- Build brand influence and perception
- Overcome objections
- Attract new prospects
I can tell you that it works. Our team has written many great posts. We’ve published a social media sizing guide, given information on how to calculate ROI on your website, and instructed our readers on boosting posts on Facebook. These posts often come up in our early meetings as a reason that clients found us. The key to this though, is that through the educational process they have built trust with us. In fact, when deciding between four brands, 83.6 percent of consumers who read a piece of educational content by a brand chose that brand when prompted to purchase.
Here are a few pointers to help you build educational content.
- Ensure your content is written for your desired audience. Something that is easily overlooked is how deep you go into a certain topic. We have learned that getting too deep may not relate to the audience we desire to have read our content.
- Don’t sell! Remember, this is educational content, not a sales pitch. Make sure to write something that your audience will actually want to read.
- Be relevant. Look for trending topics that your desired audience is searching for or desiring to learn more about.
- Tell the story from both sides. To gain trust you will need to educate users from multiple perspectives. Just because one may not favor your product or service doesn’t mean you should avoid talking about it. Being transparent can often help build trust and give you the opportunity to at least have a conversation with the potential client.
- Make the content truly useful. Don’t just try to crank out a 300-400 word blog post. You must spend the proper time researching, writing and editing your piece of content to make it better than others on the same subject if you expect to get users’ attention.
Here’s the deal, making really great and educational content is tough. It will take you time and certainly a great deal of effort. Choose topics that you have a passion for and it will come together much faster and easier. It will also truly be authentic and users love that!
Another important step in your process to become an educator is to make sure that once you’ve created some really informative, educational content that you get it out there. Be sure to link to it on your social media channels, seek out other areas that could link to your post, engage with others on social media about this topic and, when appropriate, share the link with them. Make sure you’ve also linked to it within your own site where applicable.
Creating educational content is one of the most effective ways to build a successful online sales strategy. The toughest part is setting aside the time to do it or partnering with an agency like Spinutech to help you with this process. As they like to say, “content is king” and Google certainly agrees with that saying.
See if this works for you: promote your company as an educator and you will be viewed as experts. Then, when you’ve earned the right, you can ask for the sale and it won’t even feel like you are selling.