The best way to sell today is to quit with the sales. Focusing on clients’ needs will generate a willingness to purchase your services far more effectively than traditional sales tactics.
In an excellent online article, Forbes spells out the theory behind content marketing and the reasons it works. We’ve been saying the same thing for some time, and showing clients how to help their firms by demonstrating their knowledge instead of pushing their clients to commit. It’s inspiring to see the concept reach staid business icons like Forbes, and this article shows real understanding of the premise. How is it that selling by not selling works so effectively in today’s information-rich environment?
People are tired of being treated like fish to be hooked. The public is now, for the most part, sophisticated enough to resent hard-sell tactics, and well beyond being lured in even by more advanced sales techniques. They’ve seen every kind of marketing strategy and become bored by all but the most entertaining and personally validating.
They also live in a time when absolutely everything is for sale. Not only can they buy any imaginable product or service in a few mouse clicks, they can easily compare prices and customer reviews of the providers. Access to everything means choices, to the point that it becomes a tiresome burden to research the best of almost unlimited options. Gone are the days when clients automatically flock to a business simply because it’s the only one around. With options on every corner and Google here to tell about them, how can you hope to stand out?
Showing is a thousand times more effective than telling, and content marketing is all about the showing. By sharing meaningful content and interacting on social media, you show potential clients who you are far more believably than if you simply made the claim to be the best through traditional marketing efforts. Are you totally in tune with current knowledge and recent changes in the industry? If so, the articles you write or share and your commentary about them will make it evident. Is your service top-notch? Your online conversation with industry peers, current clients and seekers of information all let readers get a sense of the depth of your knowledge along with your personal style. The attitude you demonstrate in these interactions reflects exactly what you’ll offer to them as clients, while your marketing claims may be closer to what you’d like to think you do more than the reality.
If your focus is on clients and their real needs, the services you provide will deliver outstanding value. Your service model and knowledge base will adapt effortlessly to match the areas that make a daily difference to clients. It will show in the information you choose to share and the attention you pay to small things that matter to them. Added value is the natural result of true client-centrism.
Sharing what you know and conducting business in public view with social media has the added benefit of letting potential clients get a feel for your unique style. When they can gauge your knowledge and personality by interacting through content marketing, they are in a good position to judge the fit. The usual outcome is that once new clients have selected your firm as a service provider, they’re pretty comfortable with you personally. This perfect fit, along with your client-centric position that sees everything through the lens of what they need, means that they tend to be happy with the firm and stay with you over the long term, allowing for extended relationships that bolster confidence and tailored service.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but putting clients first will impact revenue more than any number of dollars and hours spent trying to sell your firm to a jaded public.