Educate Prospects First

Educate Prospects First

Salespeople who share market information win over salespeople who lead with their company or product.  

According to sales training company Chet Holmes International, 3% of prospects are buying now; 7% are open to buying now; 30% are not thinking about buying now; 30% do not think they are interested in buying now; and 30% know they are not interested in buying now. Unless you have a list of the 3%, leading with company or product information will have limited success. Why? Both are readily available and have minimal strategic value. Strategic value comes from educating prospects about the market and how to be more effective and efficient within it.

Educating prospects is a strategic approach to B2B selling. You will attract more buyers by offering to teach them something of value (something that helps them) than by trying to sell them your product or service. Remember, only 3% of prospects are buying now; i.e., open to hearing about your product or service. When you offer to teach them something of value, power shifts from the prospect to the salesperson. The salesperson is viewed as a consultant or teacher, which removes any negatives associations the prospect may have about being sold.

Education-based marketing focuses on the buyer, not the company or product. It teaches prospects about their business and industry with market information. Communicating your project management solution is product information. Communicating the “Top 10 Ways You Are Wasting Money in IT Operations” is market information. While product information is easily accessible on the Internet when needed, everyone is interested in saving money in IT operations. The latter is an example of market information attracting more buyers than product information.

Market information can motivate buying when prospects may not believe or know they need your product. What market information should be used? Market information that sets the buying criteria in your favor. If it is valuable, prospects will perceive the salesperson as an expert. Prospects are always more motivated and receptive to experts within their industry. Market information also makes subsequent company and product information more credible and relevant. Salespeople should position their company or product only after the prospect has been educated.

All contents copyright © 2015, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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