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The traditional sales approach is to entrust a salesperson who has the ability to find a way to literally get in front of the customer, engage them in the sales process, and ultimately, close the deal.
This approach is all about face time and the ability to gain access to the customer’s time, so you can q&a with them until they’re ready to buy. And it works. It’s the way sales has been done since the beginning of time. Direct sales is very effective and, therefore, this approach is NOT likely to change anytime soon.
What is changing is our ability to reach potential customers. There are so many potential customers in our territories that we simply don’t have access to. Busy people we know need what we have but for many reasons aren’t ready to take our calls and who don’t want us to stop by. Not for lunch, not for coffee, not even for a minute. They don’t want us. Or more accurately, they don’t know they want us, yet.
And then there is another big group of potential customers that we don’t know about and who don’t know about us either!
The good news is that your website, when loaded with the right content, can help your company rectify that situation, helping you to get to know these invisible customers, at all hours of the day and night. To net these invisible prospects, your firm needs to make available the tools and information that your customer needs so they may find what they need on your website, when they want it and when they need it.
You may be thinking, “Really, you’re still talking about content? It’s just another marketing fad!”
The problem with that thinking is that content in this context doesn’t live by itself. It resides on your website which lives in the world of Google and search. And Google and search has become a huge portion of the buying process or customer journey as we like to call it.
That’s because the way the world buys has changed drastically over the past decade because of the world wide web.
Think about it. Isn’t researching the item on Google the first thing you do when you think of purchasing anything, whether it’s for the business, for yourself or for a kid who needs to know how to solve a tough math problem?
Whether or not you like it, if you want those invisible prospects to find you, it is now your responsibility to create content that Google can serve up to those who are looking for the solution you are providing. As part of the process, you’ll build a rich library of shared experiences coupled with some general advice that will position you as relevant and interesting to someone searching for exactly what you provide. A library that will function as an annuity, paying you back daily for your investment in creating that content with awareness, engagements, sales conversations, and deals that would never have happened if business development efforts remained limited only to the traditional sales approach.
Maybe you already have a lot of content in the form of white papers and PowerPoint presentations that sit on the shelf or in a file drawer inert unless in the hands of a sales person. Making that content available on your website in a way and format that Google will see and that it thinks will solve the problem your audience is asking about enables it to be out there serving your audience all the time instead of collecting dust.
Wondering what your audience is asking about?
Check out this tool called Answer The Public
We’ve already written pretty extensively about the benefits of blogging already in reaching untouchable prospects as well as what you need to do to create a positive publishing culture. The key here is to think of your blog as an automatic sales army that you need to equip with every tool and piece of information your buyer can imagine. If you do that the blog truly will become an annuity that will eventually mature and deliver far above and beyond return on your original investment.
Webinars are another form of content that you can invest in once and that will then work on your behalf for years to come. The key here is to make sure the webinar provides participants with genuine value; in the form of information that will help them do a better job in their business, whether or not they buy from you. The goal with the webinar is for it to represent your firm as a leader in its field.
Where blog posts provide Google with the words and concepts it needs to be able to figure out what your company does and what is relevant to the person searching, video provides that and more. Our clients have found that demonstration videos, where you have a technician literally standing in front of controls demonstrating how things work and the key features provide the best takeaway value. Just don’t forget to script or summarize your video into a white paper, or the like, so those searching for that content can find you.
In most cases, your website is the first place to start as it serves as the ecosystem that will enable your audience to find everything they’re looking for among your posts, webinars and videos. Right now or in the middle of the night. When you’re in a meeting, at a conference, or on the golf course.
Invest in creating the right content, and making it findable, and new customers and more profits will find their way into your company and to your bottom line.
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