Lawyers often ask me to explain how selling-based marketing differs from Education-Based Marketing. I point out the standard differences about giving prospects what they want, information and advice – and removing what they don’t want, a sales pitch.
But the fine points of Education-Based Marketing go much deeper.
You and I, as consumers, want people to respect the fact that we have a brain – and that we can make our own decisions without someone else (the salesperson) telling us what to do. This important point clearly defines how the respected authority (you) differs from the pushy salesperson (everyone else).
The difference is in the three cons: Convince. Control. Conclude.
The salesperson tries to “convince” you that you need what he’s selling and take “control” of your decision. (We refer to this as sales pressure.) On the other hand, the authority offers facts and advice that allow you to “conclude” that you need what he offers – and you need it right now. He never tries to control your decision.
Here are two typical examples:
Salesperson: “This service will save you time and money. Sign here and I’ll finish the paperwork in two minutes.” (He tells you what will happen and tells you what to do.)
Authority: “From the facts I have provided, I think you’ll agree that you’ll save considerable time and money by choosing option A over option B.” (The authority respects the person’s ability to listen to the information, draw his own conclusions, and make his own decision.)
Salesperson: “You must sign up for this service now. Otherwise, I can’t be held responsible.”
Authority: “From the case history I’ve just presented, I hope you see how important it is that you act now, without delay.”
My Advice: When you talk with prospects, make sure you provide facts, case histories, information and advice that allow prospects to conclude they need what you offer – and soon. The moment you turn the tables and tell them what they need, they see you as a salesperson. This undermines your credibility and they lose all respect for you.
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 contact 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 are not yet ready to speak with you, but who won’t hesitate to ask 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 and advice rather than a sales pitch.
- You save time by answering common questions in your marketing materials, ads and seminars, rather than answering the same questions over and over in person.
- You begin to earn your prospect’s loyalty because you’ve made an effort to help him, even if he doesn’t hire your services.
- 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 innovative method because few, if any, of your competitors use it.
- You benefit from the synergy of several educational methods reinforcing each other.
- You earn a true profit, rather than just creating more work and more overhead.
Now you understand why the American Marketing Association featured this innovative approach on the front page of its national publication, Marketing News.
Now you’re invited to profit from this unique method.