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You need great content to be successful in sales. Let me repeat that again.
You need great content to be successful in sales.
This is a bold and strong statement, but it is one I believe to be a reality.
Content has always been a key part of the toolkit used by salespeople to get results but in the modern business age its importance has grown, and it is now essential to close prospects consistently.
You can have the best skills, the best sales story and the greatest product or service but unless you can engage with your prospects through different content media and show value in what you do, you will struggle to achieve the business targets you have.
Here are 7 reasons why great content will help make you successful in sales.
1. Prospects Use The Internet to Research
81% of people use Google to start the search for something and what they find has a big impact on the decisions they make. We use Google and other tools to search for solutions to problems that we have, and we use the content provided back by the search to help us decide on companies to use to solve these issues. There are around 3.5 billion searches made daily on pretty much every subject you can imagine, and a small percentage of this figure will be in the area you work! If you don’t have content or information to share, then you are going to miss out.
This means not only missing out on potential prospects and new business but missing out on your opportunity to position your name/brand as the key authority within your target market. This not only allows your competitors to gain the initial advantage, but it undersells you and all that you offer. If you have a good service and are passionate about solving problems, then you need to be found when searches are made, and content is the way to do this in the modern world.
2. It Allows you to Position Yourself as an Expert in your Market
Great content allows you to position yourself as a thought leader and expert in your marketplace and people generally want to do business with those who have the most influence and knowledge. For example, if I want to learn how to run more successful Facebook adverts for my business, I may choose to search on this area and see what companies provide services. The company that has an attractive looking website and who presents a person with a clear video or downloadable guide is more likely to get my interest than someone that just outlines a service they want to sell me.
Prospects go through 4 key phases when they look to buy a product or service. They have a PROBLEM they want to solve, they want the company they work with to UNDERSTAND them and they then need to BELIEVE that this company can do what is required. They then need to be able to TRUST them to deliver this. Providing great content which provides expertise and knowledge allows you and the face of your company to be positioned as an expert in the space and shows prospects that you can deliver on the promises you make. Everyone wants to work with an expert and so using content to demonstrate your expertise not only offers value to the prospect, but it also gets them wanting to work with you and really tap into the knowledge you have so that they can benefit themselves.
3. It Helps to Build Trust
Building up Trust in the mind of a prospect is essential if you want to win new business consistently and great content which is informative and engaging helps build trust. Which company do you trust more? The company which presents videos and stories on how they have solved problems for other customers and which provides great advice and ideas on how to do something or the one that just has a plain web page?
Prospects are always looking to reassure themselves they are doing the right thing when they make a purchase and seeing examples of how others have achieved success helps to do that. Reading articles or useful guides on how to do something or how a company works to deliver a quality solution gives prospects peace of mind and this has a big factor on their final buying decision.
When you engage with a prospect and they ask questions of ‘how do you deliver results’ what is easier? Telling them and asking them to believe you or sending through 4 or 5 case study videos which show others getting the exact same results that the prospect wants? Good content builds trust and helps convert prospects.
4.It’s a Chance to Share your Why!
If you have not read Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’ book, then you should. Prospects don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it and every business has a ‘why’ that they should be sharing.
I may provide sales training and sales mentoring but my ‘why’ and the reason why I get up every morning is that I ‘love seeing others get amazing results from the advice I give, and I love the thrill of winning’
I cannot tell you the feeling of satisfaction that I get from seeing someone I work with achieve a sale or convert a prospect after using words or ideas that I have told them will work. It is an incredible feeling and makes me punch the air and say, ‘get in there’.
My why is that I want to share as much of my knowledge and learnings as I can so that more business owners who work incredibly hard get the rewards they deserve.
Being able to outline your why within great content allows your prospects to see the ‘real you’ and it has the effect of warming prospects to you even when they have not met you yet.
Your ‘why’ is also your passion and desire to improve a situation or solve a problem and if you can share this within great content and show you and your company to be genuine then it will help convince prospects to work with you.
Sharing your ‘why’ is not a guarantee of success but it will help build an emotional connection with your prospects and sales in the current era is all about human to human interactions!
5. It is your Chance to Show Value to your Prospect
It is highly unlikely that your prospects will look to buy from you straight after they have found out about your company. As I wrote in a blog a few months ago, most prospects go through a sales process before they buy something and your goal throughout this process is to continually show value to get the prospect on your side.
Let’s say you sell wine as a company through a monthly subscription service? You may want the prospects you engage with to buy straight away but getting someone to commit £100 a month to a company they don’t know anything about could be difficult.
If, however you share really useful guides over a period of time such as ‘how to understand the best wine to go with types of food’ or ‘how to choose the right wine in a restaurant’ it can help show your value to a prospect. Prospects will see that you are not only interested in selling wine to them but that you are keen to help them out with the typical problems that they have and because of this content and value they are likely to warm to you as a company.
The holy grail for any sales person is to show value in what you do, to make a prospect choose you and if you can show enough value then you can also ensure that they don’t only look at the price when making a decision. It is never the price which stops you from selling your service at the price you want. It is just that you haven’t given enough value and shown your prospect that you are worth it. Great content helps to build that value.
6. It Drives Prospects to your Website or to Engage with You
Great content acts as a magnet to get prospects to your website and to understand more about the services you sell. Whether you can take full advantage of this once they get there is another matter, but the reality is that if you share valuable content then prospects will come to your website and may even be happy to enquire further or sign up to receive ongoing information from you.
You achieve great sales results through outbound prospecting but also by following up effectively with inbound leads and there is no doubt good content leads to better incoming leads.
Within my CONVERT model that I use with my customers, the C stands for content and it is essential to have good content to tell your story and get prospects on you side. Once you do this, you can then obtain their information and use other tools and techniques such as nurturing and prospect validation to turn these prospects into customers.
You can’t do business with a prospect you know nothing about and if they don’t reach out to you or contact you through any method you use (email, phone, form, social media) then you can’t do business with them.
Provide good content, get them to visit your site or engage with you and then take that prospect on a journey which ends with them having a problem solved and you having a happy customer!
7. It Differentiates you in the Marketplace
The final way in which great content helps you sell more is that it differentiates you within the marketplace. One of the industry’s that really needs to pick up on the importance of good content is the recruitment industry. I regularly get emails from recruitment agents offering me people to work in my business and 99% of these emails get deleted without me even looking at them. They ASSUME that I am interested in hiring people they have without bothering to enquire if that is a requirement and when people try to sell to me without understanding me it frustrates me and turns me off them.
There is a company however called Coburg Banks who take a different approach using great content and I think it is a much better way to work. Instead of being sent spammy emails offering me people I don’t need, I get sent really interesting and sometimes funny articles such as 39 of the Worst Commuter Habits (pictured below) or 4 Recruitment Ideas You Can Pinch From Sony and as a result of this content I feel more inclined to work with them should I decide to use an agent to recruit someone.
In a market which is pretty similar, they have chosen to differentiate themselves with their approach and show value and I think it works. It helps outline them as being different and it shows me that they are keen to address the real issue that employers have which is finding the best staff rather than just trying to sell me people to make a commission.
They use good content to engage with prospects and build trust and as a result I would be more likely to do business with them than a similar recruitment agent who doesn’t work in this way.
So there are 7 reasons why great content will make you successful in sales. Content alone will not win you business and content by itself will not convert every prospect. There is still work for us to do as sales people if we are to win business consistently! It does though help us immensely and should be a key part of the sales weapons we use to win new business!
What are your experiences of using content to drive sales? Has it helped you close new business?
Share your thoughts with me in the comments section below or via my Twitter or Facebook pages!
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