Selling versus informing

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

There is a great series of articles on the Duct Tape Marketing blog about converting leads for folks who hate selling.  There are 5 articles in the series, and in one way or another they all make the point that "selling" as it is usually thought of (a process focused solely on convincing people to buy no matter what) is not much fun and also not terribly effective, particularly for a small business. 

On the other hand, selling is effective and fun when you have something of value to offer and you really try to help people by educating them about your industry and what you do.  A couple of key points about this:
  • You have to have something that really is of value, and the process of exploring that value with prospective clients should be one that benefits them (independently of your offering) by informing them about the subject matter you work with.
  • The process should be one of mutual discovery, and throughout you should both be asking yourselves whether it makes sense to keep talking.  If not, you should disengage in a way that leaves the door open for future cooperation.
I would argue that the same points hold true for Web content.  The ideal is content that concisely explains the problem your offering solves (or the opportunity it provides) while clearly stating the features, benefits and characteristics of what you do (as well as any limitations or prerequisites).  That way, the customer can decide for herself as she interacts with your site whether it makes sense to stay engaged.  An additional benefit of this approach is that it's also an ideal foundation for the search marketing initiatives that you will want to undertake --- organic SEO, link building, and promoting your content through social media.

Posted by: Mark Reichard at 7:00 AM
Tags: E-marketing Strategy