Okay, so that headline is a bit misleading. I’m not suggesting that all sales departments stop what they’re doing. Yet, there is some truth to that headline. Be honest; how many people do you know that like to be sold? I, personally, do not like it at all.
Reflect back on almost any experience at a car dealer. They have one goal and one goal only - to make sure that when you leave, you do so in a car they just sold you. While they make every effort to seem as if your interests are their top priority, we all know that clearly is not the case.
Car dealers are an extreme example of the point; people do not like being sold. For the most part, traditional advertising has a similar approach, and that is frustrating for consumers. They have to sift through the message, decide what is real, and then, based on their instincts, choose to purchase or not.
Take a sub-contractor for example. Do you really believe a general contractor will hire you just because you are fully insured? What does fully insured mean anyway? There is no such thing as “fully insured,” but the statement indicates that anyone who hires them will not have to be concerned with liability arising out of this project. Sure, it is a benefit, but I know a lot of sub-contractors who have insurance, and that doesn't necessarily mean they know how to cost a job correctly or install pavers properly.
Imagine if you had the opportunity to break down those barriers of consumer doubt. You know what your business is capable of producing. You've been turning backyards into miniature versions of paradise for over 20 years; the real key is to get your potential customers to believe that without selling them. How is that possible you ask? Simply put, start helping.
Helping your intended audience is the best way to convey what you know about a given business. For example, if you own a landscape company, create a video on how to maintain the perfect lawn. (Before you click the little “x” to close this blog, read on; I’m going somewhere with this.)
Sharing your knowledge on the product or service you offer creates an opportunity for potential consumers to develop a trust in what you do. If nothing else, your customers will be more informed when it is actually time to close the deal. There are times a customer doesn't even know what questions to ask. By guiding them down the path properly, they are more informed, and that also creates more revenue opportunity.
Sure, there is more effort involved in being helpful to your customers, however the rewards are enormous and worth the extra effort. You have the ability to not only gain a customer, but also a loyal advocate for your business. When people trust what you do, they are more likely to pay a premium for your service. There are many benefits when you consider taking the help-first approach.
“Stop selling – start helping” -Zig Ziglar.
Check out our follow-up article that looks at how to grow your business without spending tons of money.