You have two choices when you select a marketing message.
You can choose selling-based marketing, in which you take on the role of a salesperson and deliver a sales message. Or you can choose Education-Based Marketing, in which you take on the role of a consultant and educate prospective clients about their problems and the solutions you can provide.
Selling-based marketing is built around a selling message, sometimes called a sales pitch. The sales pitch is often delivered using methods that reach out to prospective customers, such as telephone selling, direct mail and door-to-door sales.
Education-based Marketing is built around an educational message, which replaces the sales message. The educational message is commonly delivered to prospective clients through educational means. These include written materials, media publicity (articles and interviews), advertising, seminars, newsletters, audio and video tapes, and Internet web sites. Frankly, you can educate your prospective clients using any method through which they can get your information and advice.
Typically, your Education-Based Marketing program works like this: You create an educational message, which you first put into the form of a written handout. Then you offer your handout to prospects who are interested in your services. Prospects call your office to get your free written materials. You respond by sending the materials and inviting prospects to an upcoming seminar. In addition, you keep prospects educated through your educational newsletter.
You put your message in front of your prospects through paid advertising, articles in newspapers and magazines, and interviews on radio and TV. In addition, you communicate with people on your mailing list and invite them to attend your seminar and bring their friends and associates.
Selling-based marketing creates these problems:
- Prospects go out of their way to avoid you because they are tired of selling and sales pressure. They don’t like to be approached by salespeople who have something to sell.
- Prospects don’t think they can trust you because all of us have been burned by salespeople who gave us “inaccurate” and even false information in their eagerness to earn a commission.
- Prospects are defensive and protective because they expect you to try to pressure them into buying something they don’t want or need.
Education-Based Marketing provides these solutions:
- You give prospective clients what they want, information and advice — and you remove what they don’t want, a sales pitch.
- You maintain your dignity because you never make any effort to sell.
- You establish yourself as an authority because prospective clients see you as a reliable source of information.
- You don’t seek out prospects; instead, they call you.
- You reach prospects during the first stage of the decision-making process, often before they call your competitors.
- You identify even marginal prospects who suffer from phone-call fear, but who aren’t afraid to call for your free information.
- You prove that calling your office is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it’s a positive experience.
- You save money because you don’t need expensive brochures.
- You receive calls from qualified prospects who are genuinely interested in your services and you screen out people who are not your prospects.
- You establish your credibility and make a positive first impression by offering helpful information rather than a sales pitch.
- You save time by answering common questions in your materials and seminars, rather than answering the same questions over and over.
- You begin to earn your prospect’s loyalty because you’ve made an effort to help him, even if he doesn’t become your client.
- You know precisely how well your marketing works because you can count the number of prospects who respond — and the number who go on to become clients.
- You gain a competitive advantage simply by using this method because few, if any, of your competitors currently use it.
- You benefit from the synergy of several educational methods that reinforce each other.
- You earn a true profit, rather than just creating more work and more overhead.