Marketing by educating prospects is much more than inviting a potential customer to visit your website or handing them some printed material. It means getting to know them and giving them what they need to know you. How do you do that?
Start by Listening
We all appreciate a good listener – someone who will pay attention to what we say and ask questions in an attempt to understand our situation. A good listener is someone who not only thoroughly understands, but also hears how we feel about it.
When you are that good listener, you achieve several things: You understand your potential customer’s pain points, you build trust, and you put your company in a position to address the pain.
Let’s use, as an example, the manager of a software company. Your company developed a product to offer specific solutions to the marketplace and it accomplishes many useful tasks at a reasonable price. You have competitors but you are confident your software is faster, more sophisticated, will run on multiple platforms and for all those reasons will adapt better to future conditions.
Once you’ve actually heard what your prospect needs, it puts you in position to take the next step – and educate.
Teach Them How to Buy
Your ability to teach potential buyers to make smart purchasing decisions is a desirable position in any industry. The role of the educator goes beyond the virtues of a specific product. In addition, you must take steps to prove you have their best interest in mind.
- Demonstrate your ability to understand their business. You don’t need to be able to run the customer’s company but your willingness to dive deep in order to better serve the client is something you can do better than your competition.
- Acknowledge that you are in the best position to understand whether your product is a good fit. If it’s not, offer some advice and direction, and move on to the next prospect. Despite passing on this piece of business, your credibility will soar.
- When your product is a good fit, make clear that your experience can be of great value in implementing the new software. You know what works and what doesn’t. You have learned from other customers and your years in business, which will save your client time and money.
- It’s not just you. You are confident in your team and can offer the right people who specialize in the creative and technical disciplines so that the game plan is accomplished with quality and consistency.
- Your willingness to stay with a customer until everything is working smoothly is an important complement to your knowledge.
If this sounds like advice on how to build a relationship, it is. The future of your company depends on your ability to develop long-term bonds with customers who will return to you over and over to help solve their problems. A one-off solution will not sustain your company’s future. Customers who trust you because you have taken the time to listen and understand them – as well as demonstrate your willingness to help them thrive – will continue to give you business and will give their highest recommendation to others.
Your role as a marketer is to package this thorough understanding of your customers into content that resonates, and educates, new prospects. Then distribute that content though the appropriate channels, which are most likely to connect with future customers.
Are you listening to build trust? Are you educating your prospects to become smarter buyers? How can you use what you know to position yourself as a Subject Matter Expert? Let us know in the Comments section below.
At Crest, we help companies
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists