The old-school sales approach centered on identifying prospects and pushing your products/services on them until they capitulated. It’s one of the reasons many salespeople got a reputation for being “pushy.” And that’s one thing you don’t want associated with your business, especially in 2014.
There’s a better way to do sales, and it’s one that becomes increasingly more important in this digital age. Instead of pestering your products until they cringe at the sight of another email or the sound of another voicemail, let your content do the work for you. Let it attract your prospects to you.
These days, consumers are taking charge of the sales process. They don’t want someone constantly selling them on a product’s value. Modern consumers go through the vast majority of the buyer journey before even contacting a vendor.
When potential customers identify a need, they don’t have to go directly to the seller for more information. With a simple search from the comfort of their home—or, these days, practically anywhere—they can become instant experts on a product or service without spending a dime.
The content you provide answers most questions consumers have in the purchase-decision stage. If you’re providing better content than your competitors are, you have a big advantage in attracting that potential customer to buy from you. Let your content build a relationship with those consumers instead of focusing on a hard sell.
With that in mind, consider these ways your content works for you in sales:
It educates consumers on your product/service: Education is at the core of relationship-based sales, and this is just as true with content. Relate to prospects on a personal level and inform them about your product or service. For growing companies, evergreen content reaches more prospects with fewer resources.
It establishes trust: When content shares lessons, tips and other valuable pieces of information, it creates trustworthiness with the potential customer. With every piece of content specific to your trade, you position yourself as a more credible expert in the eyes of the consumer. Trust is the foundation of all long-lasting, meaningful relationships. Let your content create that trust.
It humanizes your brand: Consumers want to buy from people, not companies. Content puts a face to a brand and helps the reader relate to you as a person before engaging in a conversation. When we help businesses improve their websites, one of the main points of order is finding ways to add a personal touch that spotlights the proprietors.
It facilitates meaningful sales conversations: Content naturally opens up a dialogue with readers. Once prospective customers have had an opportunity to learn from the content you’ve provided, they’re primed to ask questions and seek additional information. Good content has covered the basics before the sales call/meeting, letting you get down to brass tacks and close the sale.