In sales our team members often look for the ‘quick win’ or ‘low hanging fruit’. But the reality is that in order for these quick wins to occur, someone – likely marketing – has been nurturing your prospect.
What really does this mean?
Education of the prospect is a critical function for a marketing team. In fact, it is at this point that the company builds enormous credibility with the prospect.
Education is not about talking about all the bells and whistles on your particular product. Nor is it pointing out why someone should do business with you or talking all about your company and how you are unique (which is rarely true anyway). I’ll tell you a little secret. Your customers care more about their own situations than they do about your service or product.
Well if educating the prospect isn’t about product specification sheets, the wonderful services you offer, or the wonderful PowerPoint that shows all the companies you work with, what is it?
Put simply, education is taking the time – with no expectation of return – in sharing solutions to customer’s problems. It is information – freely given – that adds value for the customer and helps them understand both the dynamics of the problem they are facing and the potential benefits and pitfalls of many different solutions.
This education is not a one time event either. Your marketing team should be planning a series of educational pieces that continue to share information that is relevant to your customer. It won’t always be solution centric either. At times you may want to share specific information about your industry. Or share special case studies that detail solutions to problems that other customers have faced.
Why would you bother doing this, you ask? Isn’t it just easier to hire more salespeople and send them ‘knocking on doors’?
Let me share some psychology with you. There is a psychological law called the law of reciprocity. If you and your company are the ones sharing information in a non-pressurized environment and you continue to do so over several months (or in some cases years), then when the customer decides to buy something that you offer where do you think they will go? Will they buy from the fresh faced salesperson knocking on their door from your competition? Or is it possible that they will take a closer look at your organization? Remember, you have been training the prospect. You have proven yourself as the expert.