PATRICK LEROUX, CSP
Successful entrepreneur and author
"Your primary marketing goal should be to gain the trust of your future clients and establish your credibility."
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs and salespeople believe that the most important function of their business development and marketing is to promote their products and services. It is a mistake! In fact, the most important function of your marketing should be to gain the confidence of your future customers by demonstrating your credibility. Do this and sales will follow almost automatically.
People will NEVER do business with someone they don’t trust. Even if you have a very good product or service, even if you offer a wide variety, even if you have the lowest prices on the market; if your prospects don’t trust you, you won’t sell anything.
People are tired of hearing the old “sales pitch”. Resistance starts as soon as you start talking about yourself or delivering your pitch. On the contrary, when you do educational marketing, people sit and listen carefully when you share important facts, statistics and relevant information. People respond to things that help them improve the quality of their personal or professional lives and enable them to make a good purchasing decision.
Click to follow these 6 simple and easy steps to double both your income and your free time:
Determine the content of your educational message
Imagine getting into the minds of your prospects and listening to their inner conversations just as they start shopping for your products and services. What are the questions they ask themselves? What are their worries, their fears, their resistance? The secret to attracting qualified prospects early in the sales cycle is to discover the answers to these questions and use them as the basis for your educational marketing.
The best way to know the fears and resistance of your potential clients is to do a survey. You could ask them some questions, for example, “What is the # 1 obstacle for growing your business?”, or "What is the main reason why you have not yet invested in a TFSA?"
Once you have identified the main objections of your potential customers, consider producing one or two short videos, or write articles for this purpose.
For example, if your prospects had the choice between two articles to read, the first entitled "Why our TFSAs are the best on the market" and the other titled "Five secrets few people know that will allow you to become financially independent and retire young!”. What article do you think will interest your prospects the most?
From my experience, the second article will beat the first by a factor of at least 10 to 1! Educational marketing, which helps your prospects solve their problems, fulfill their desires and make better buying decisions, is the type of information that will help you attract more prospects.
In which format should you deliver your educational messages to attract qualified prospects?
Once you have developed your educational messages, you need to offer them FREE to your prospects in exchange for their contact information. This is very important. Effective marketing is not just about making you talk, but capturing the information (especially emails) from your potential customers in order to build a relationship in the long run.
The best places to give your educational messages are: to your old customers, people who subscribe to your newsletter, people who follow you on social media, on Google (using the right keywords), in your ads on social media and Google (pay per click), through sponsors or through affiliate partners.
I suggest you deliver your educational messages in a format that your prospects prefer. It can be an article, an audio message, a video, an email training, a public seminar, a web conference or even a telephone message. In my experience, however, video is the format that converts best.
Have very good titles
A very important aspect to educational marketing is to have very good titles. The more specific and precise you are, the better. You will notice in my last example (TFSA), I used the number five and the word “secrets”. People love numbered lists and knowing things that others do not know. Combine these two elements (numbers and plot) and you have an almost irresistible title. Here are some examples:
• The 3 most common mistakes people make when it comes to buying a condo.
• 5 easy tips to save 20% or more on your heating bill next year.
• How to generate income in six (6) digits in six (6) months or less.
• 7 tips to double the value of your RRSP in 7 years.
• 8 important things that your banker doesn’t want you to know.
• How to lose 10 pounds in 30 days.
• 12 tips to increase the value of your home.
How to transmit your educational messages
Now that you have developed and formatted your educational messages, you must develop strategies to offer them for free. To do this, you must first identify all points of contact with your customers and attempt to offer your educational messages to each of these touch points.
Contact points with your customers can be, for example: a phone call, your website, an advertisement, an article you write, a conversation during a networking event, a mailing, a video on your Facebook, Instagram or YouTube channel, your business card, the automatic signature of your emails, a service offer, etc. At each of these touch points, always try to offer something free and valuable to your current and potential customers.
For example, instead of ending your phone conversations like this: “Excellent Mrs. Tremblay, thank you for your call. I hope you will visit us soon.”, try ending your phone conversations with an offer. “Excellent, Mrs. Tremblay, thank you for your call. By the way, we just wrote a little ebook that explains ‘The 10 biggest mistakes people make when it comes to organizing an employee meeting’ or ‘The 10 best places to visit in (your city)’. If you give me your email address, I will send it to you for free. Is that alright with you?”.
You've accomplished three very important things with this phone strategy: (1) you've gained sympathy, esteem and respect by offering a valuable gift to this future client, (2) you've gotten her contact information in order to continue building a relationship in time with her, and (3) you now have a reason to follow up with her.
Resist the urge to make a “sales pitch”
It's easy to distinguish yourself by using educational marketing because most of your competitors use marketing-based techniques (We are the best. We are # 1. Our products are the best).
The beauty of educational marketing is that you give your potential customers what they really want —information and advice— and take away what they do not want, a “sales pitch”.
By offering free, practical and useful advice, you are establishing yourself as a leader in your industry. Your potential customers see you as a reliable source of high quality information.
As long as trust is not established, however, be very careful not to give in to the urge to sell something with your educational messages. You will lose the confidence you have established and you will do the same as your competitors!
Only once trust and credibility have been established, make an offer!
Once you have given useful and practical information to your prospects, it can be, for example, 3 or 4 articles or 3 or 4 videos of free trainings, invite them to call you, to visit your website or to come to your place of business. You could also take advantage of your free offer (your articles or videos), to make a follow-up phone call to set an appointment in person. This will be a hot call rather than a cold call. Trust and credibility will already be established and the sale is half done.
The best strategy, however, is to have a transactional website. At the end of your 4th free video, for example, you direct them to a sales video where you simply encourage your prospects to click on the buy button. Basically, you tell them, “Did you like the information I sent you for free so far? If you want to go farther, faster, and find out more, I invite you to click here and you get (your product or service) …”.
Educational marketing is an extremely powerful business development tool. The power comes from the fact that you are offering something FREE that interests your potential customers. After all, who can say no to free? Educational marketing serves to establish your credibility and a relationship of trust with your prospects, resulting in a significant increase in your sales.
Organizations looking to develop a trusting relationship with their prospects by delivering educational, non-threatening messages will position themselves as the first choice in the minds of their prospects when it comes time to buy their products or services. Go ahead, implement the educational marketing strategy and watch your turnover explode!