I have a secret about marketing that will change everything for you. It’s the one thing that keeps people from selling. It’s the thing that marketers and salespeople miss every time. It’s easy to see from the outside but elusive to those that are close to the action of selling.
That secret is this: Noone wants to be sold.
They don’t like it. It creates tension. It is a turnoff.
The internet drastically changed things. The buyer is in charge. And they ignore anything that is spam or unsolicited. In fact, you cannot make anyone on the internet do anything they don’t want to.
What you can do is entice them. You can engage them and give them truly high value. But you can’t make them buy. You don’t even have the advantage of a decade ago trying to use your charisma and presence to sell.
Buying starts from far away now. It happens when you are not present and someone clicks to find you or is researching about something they want.
You Have to do the Real Work
The old tactics of trying to be glitzier or louder only annoys and diverts attention of otherwise ready buyers. If your competitor is more real, authentic and substantive than you, then they will build the audience that becomes their pipeline over time.
They will connect with people that can refer them. Thus, they have a referral engine.
They will have an eager audience of people that may buy later. Thus, they have a lead engine.
The real work involves thinking like your buyer. It means putting on their concerns and understanding the questions they have in their mind as they are trying to make sense of a world you are all too familiar with. That familiarity can be a blessing and a curse. It serves you to be the expert and share your knowledge.
However, it is a curse, because you can forget how a new buyer is thinking and what concerns they have. It takes real thought and empathy. This can be accomplished by staying tuned into the questions your buyers and customers ask. A great way to ensure this is to continually monitoring your support questions or sales questions.
From there, have ongoing and ready content that turns a question into real thought leadership and insightful responses. A simple email response or FAQ post can get the job done tactically, but there is much more leverage in sharing your knowledge with new buyers with a content platform that they can connect with.
It Means You Have to Listen and Care
You can only think like the buyer if you can get out of your own head and wants. The urge to sell is so high it can be blinding. It doesn’t serve the buyer. Remember they do not like being sold.
You have to listen carefully to stay in tune and connect. You have to connect frequently and position in the mind of the buyer.
It’s very rare, unless the pain is high, for a buyer to want to do business on the first call. It takes nurturing to build trust and when they are finally ready, they take a step forward. It’s emotional and a relationship.
Listening and caring is the cornerstone. Companies that only try to sell and talk about how great they are don’t get this. It’s why small outfits that are sincere, try to help and put their message out consistently to help their audience win today. They are no longer being blocked out by big media channels. They can build their own audience and give them value directly.
For your own approach, it may mean a course correction or changing the tone of your marketing messages. Take a look and see if you are selling or really thinking like your buyer.
If you are missing the mark, refocus your content and resources so you can be effective and turn those prospects into real relationships.
How are you doing in your marketing?