Marketing and selling are different, even if they typically get lumped in together in most textbooks and marketing programs.
Most business owners I know absolutely love being in business but hate the idea of selling. You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating yet again, that if you aren’t selling something you won’t have a business for very long.
Unfortunately, most folks also have the notion that selling means having to beg, plead, wheedle, trick, and lie to convince someone to buy something they don’t want. If you do this, people might buy, but they won’t ever come back, and they’ll regret their buying decision for all time.
And this may be what selling used to be like, but it doesn’t have to be that way any longer. It is so much easier to attract a buyer to you, demonstrate the benefits of working with you by educating them, and then letting them make up their minds to buy.
And you have to be top of mind when they are ready to buy. You do that by sending out your marketing message through a variety of ways – over, and over, and over — so that you are continuously reminding them that you are available and, most importantly, that you are the best choice for helping them solve their problem.
Of course, you still have to ask for the sale in some fashion. And you can do that in a variety of ways including your call to action on your website, in your eZine and newsletter, in direct mail and in-person.
After you’ve educated them, tell them what to do next. Tell them how to buy from you and then make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
How can you educate them?
Thee are many ways to educate your clients and prospects. Of course, most of the marketing we do is typically geared toward educating.
As you are using different strategies and tactics, bear in mind the education aspect of what you’re doing. You’ll always create better marketing materials when you do.
Here are just a few ideas….
Newsletters. A print newsletter provides lots of space (as much as you need) to tell your story and explain all of your benefits. You can mail them to prospects (and current clients), distribute at networking events, use as leave-behinds when calling on prospects, and post a pdf version on your website.
Teleclasses. The coolest and one of the easiest ways to connect in a personal way with your tribe and your peeps. I have built the best relationships with people who attended my teleclasses. Besides imparting great and valuable information, people get to know you better, they will like you better, and trust you more when it comes time to buy from you.
Public Speaking. I know, I know, you’d rather die than get up in front of a room and speak to people. Time to get over that. It is easy to speak to any size crowd about what you are passionate about. If you are passionate about your business and the idea of solving problems for people excites you, then speaking is a great way to get your message across, and show your enthusiasm and passion for it all at the same.
Networking. If you hate networking, then you’re going about it all wrong. Networking can be a great chance to educate people. You can do that while speaking people or by being the guest speaker at events such as Chamber luncheons, breakfast meetings, and your leads club. First rule for successful networking: be interested instead of interesting. Think about that.
Brochures, Websites, Blogs. I lump all of these together because they are really all doing the same thing: promoting, advertising, and educating your readers (site visitors, prospects) so that they can make informed decisions about working with you or buying your goods or services. You can educate a lot with these tools because like a newsletter, you can tell your whole story, demonstrate benefits – and showcase your success with clients. A blog can be entertaining and less formal and a great way for folks to get to know you.
So how about you? What are you doing to educate your prospects and clients?
By the way, I keep stressing educating clients as well as prospects, because your best bet for more business will likely come from folks who have already become your client. So you need to keep reminding them why they chose you and why they should choose you again.
Remember, you chose to be in business to be of service to the world. (Right?) And you owe it to the world – or at least to those you can serve best – to get your message out there so those that those in need will hear it and come to get their problem solved. How powerful a notion is that?© Copyright 2010 Marty Marsh