What is Educational Based Marketing?
Throughout my career I’ve found that the hardest part of a salesperson’s job is not necessarily convincing someone to purchase a product or service, but actually convincing him that he actually wants or needs it. In many cases my clients were hesitant to make a purchase because they simply didn’t understand the product or concept surrounding it. Enter educational based marketing…
Educational based marketing involves establishing yourself as a knowledgeable authority in your field of business. This involves more than handing out business cards and flyers at local meetings and events. Educational based marketing means building trusting relationships with your clients and prospects by showing them that you truly understand their businesses and needs.
“So how will I prove my level of knowledge and expertise,” you ask? Good question. Start sharing valuable information and stop trying to sell your product!
Yes, you read that correctly. I said stop trying to sell your product, but what I really mean is, you need to stop being so blatantly obvious about the fact you are trying to make a sale. Act as a consultant and give your clients the time and attention they deserve. Ultimately, they’ll begin to trust you.
Be creative and you’ll attract attention. If you’re dealing with a new prospect, give him access to a printed or automatically generated email newsletter with informative aticles pertaining to your field of work. But don’t include a sales pitch anywhere within those pages.
Start a blog and post daily or weekly with information about changes or advances within your field. Share research, hints, tips, and tricks. This is another perfect opportunity to show off what you know. But don’t include a sales pitch within the text of your blog posts.
You might even offer a free lecture to a group of individuals at a trade show or convention. Discussions regarding your area of expertise, education, and experiences are perfect and will get your prospects thinking about their own businesses. But don’t include a sales pitch within the context of your lecture.
Catching my drift?
Just in case you missed it, the point here is NOT to include a sales pitch with your educational materials. Each of these methods, and there are many more, are designed to allow you to EDUCATE your clients. If they understand their own businesses and how your products or services will meet their needs, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase from you later on down the road.
After they’ve reviewed your materials, you can touch base to find out if they have questions and set up a time to discuss their needs. Until then, keep the sales pitch in the box and gracefully share as much knowledge as you can. Informed buyers make educated decisions. Proving that you are an expert in your field will not only encourage your prospect to make a purchase, but will increase the likelihood of him coming back to you again if he needs something in the future.
We’ll discuss some educational marketing strategies in future posts. Until then, take a close look at your personal marketing strategy. Are you educating your clients, or simply trying to sell?