When answering a customers request for more information, don't just send sales materials full of pitches. Are your marketing materials full of details about the provider, but very little about the desires?of buyers?? If you aren't providing value in every communication, then you're turning potential customers off to your competition.
In every customer interaction focus on educating prospects about the benefits they will receive. You will improve your response when you spend 80% of your time educating your prospect about the solution and 20% selling them on the idea that you can provide it. Prospects don't care about what you have to sell, they want to know how you help them produce certain results.
This selling doesn't mean a hard pitch, often just confirm a prospects interest with a few targeted questions and they become ready to buy. Remember, you want customers who will be around for the long-term, so you're not selling them on a product as much as interviewing them to receive the benefits you provide.
Blend your selling message inside your valuable information using questions that confirm your value to the reader. Don't just tell them how great you are, but demonstrate to them that you can actually solve their problems, then confirm that value.
"A rotating head so that you get a closer cut that produces less waste. How much could you save if your cut-and-trim produced less waste?"
"Widget X has a rotating head that produces less waste in your cut-and-trim applications."
The first statement provides product details framed in the customers desire. You're not talking about your product as much as the solution or desired results. The question addresses a fact that reducing waste saves a specific amount confirmed by the prospects answer.
"Software engineers don't have time to correct every error in a system because of the labor required to hand check each line of code. Would you benefit from an automated system that can reduce bugs by half?"
"Our automated code checking system can reduce software errors by half, saving engineers the labor required in hand checking each line of code."
Again, the first statement talks about the desired result from the prospects point-of-view. In the second statement it's all about the provider. While both statements are true, the first involves the prospect.
The question confirms the readers interest in the proceeding statement. Most often if they answer the question they accept the statement. By asking a question, you require the reader to think about what you are offering and what it means to the reader. (Btw, this whole dialog works for business to business technical services too.)
As for adding value, these sales messages are layered inside of industry facts and strategies for solving a specific problem the reader experiences. These statements can also help qualify your prospect.
If you have properly positioned your organization you'll understand that you are not right for everyone in your market place. You might be the premium provider, or serve a specific niche. Don't let prospects purchase from you if they won't be properly served (and profitable over their lifetime with you.)
This method works for both written and spoken communications channels.
Rewrite your marketing materials to focus on the customer and add educational value to every customer interaction -- remember, this demonstrated value helps customers feel comfortable with what you have to provide and makes it easier to convert them to a sale. Where can you test this strategy in your business?
By Justin Hitt at September 2, 2003 11:52 PM Subscribe in a reader
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