1. You Can Speak to a Wider Audience
If you are doing sales calls, only buyers and the timid are going to give you the time of day. There are a bunch of people that you will not be able to reach on a regular basis simply because they are not buying right now. Every good marketer knows that she needs to keep in front of the prospects so that when they do decide to buy, they will think of her company. What if you could take this a step further? What if you had the audience coming to you on a regular basis?
If you do it well, you can become an expert in your market or industry. You can be the one everyone else looks to for advice. Of course, you can’t do this with standard sales drivel. You need to find out what you can talk about that will get EVERYONE listening.
2. You Establish Yourself as an Expert
What is the difference between, say a lawyer and sales rep? A lawyer has people looking him up and coming to his office. Plus he gets paid just to talk to you. A sales rep spends her time looking for people and going out to everyone else’s office. She doesn’t get paid unless she makes the sale.
I am not suggesting you change your profession. What I am suggesting is that you start to think like a professional. If you become an educator, you will have people looking you up. Do not get me wrong, you will still have to have good marketing, et. al. But once you gain expert status, sales will come much easier. So educate others and become an expert.
3. Prospects Will Want to Hear From You Regularly
“Dear random person, my product is awesome, please buy it now!” If this is your basic marketing campaign, its time for an upgrade. You need to start thinking about what kind of information prospects will want to hear from you on a regular basis. If you focus on selling, you will run out of things to say really quickly anyway. Focus on educating and adding value, and you will be able to maintain an ongoing relationship.
Take this challenge. Commit to communicating with your current list of clients and prospects on a weekly basis. It has to be weekly, because that way you will find out really quickly if you are providing educational and useful content. If you do, your people will thank you for it. If you are still in selling mode, you will get a lot of complaints.
4. You Can Get More Meetings
This is pretty simple. If you are offering to provide a prospect with valuable information for free, you are much more likely to get a meeting with a lot more people. Compare it to booking a meeting to sell something. Only those that need to buy are going to book you. Get meetings with prospects that need to learn, and then reposition their mindset into a buying attitude.
5. You Will Stay on the Cutting Edge
In business, it is easy to get so tied up in the details of running it that you lose your edge, both competitively and also passionately. In other words, your passion dulls with time.
Becoming an educator will keep your edge sharp. You will soon be light years ahead of the competition. You will also find that you are reconnecting with the core reasons you got into this business in the first place.
6. You Will Own Top of Mind Status
Every single company wants to be in the right place at the right time. That is to say, be the one on the phone with the customer when he is ready to buy. If you become an educator, you can be that one on the phone, because the customer will call you!
This will happen if you provide a steady stream of useful information and if you make an impact by not selling, but by educating when you meet with prospects. Being an educator will help you implant yourself in the top of your prospects minds. Sure, good advertising might be able to do the same, but you will have to spend a whole lot of money and keep at it. If you have a small marketing budget, get big on educating.
7. You Will Enjoy It More
Face constant rejection from your sales efforts OR gain praise and admiration from your education efforts. Your choice. You will enjoy being an expert. You will really enjoy being helpful. Plus, you will learn so much in the process.
8. You Will Have People Finding You
Give and you shall receive. This is a very real principle in business (and life). One way this works is through referrals. People are much more likely to refer business to you if you are an expert. And what is really nice about focusing on education is that you will also get quality referrals from people who aren’t even your customers. Maybe they sat in on one of your seminars or learned from you in some way. There a ton more people who will regularly access your free educational material than will even look at your sales material. These people are all potential customers AND potential referrers.
9. You Will Discover New Opportunities
One thing that is bound to happen when you start to focus on educating is that you will discover dormant passions. You may find that one piece of your business in particular is very interesting to you and to your audience. This can bring change in your business, as you become more focused on these discovered areas.
Other opportunities will spring up as well. Maybe a speaking engagement, or a book deal, or another business opportunity, or involvement in a charity or a good cause. Who knows. One thing is for sure, if you stay micro focused on your business and live sale to sale, these opportunities will not become visible to you.
10. You Will Get More Sales
Lets see. You will be able to reach more people. You will be established as and expert. You will have new and exciting opportunities. Sales will follow, and not just in a trickle. All of the other stuff is great. But as a business owner, what you need are sales. The great news is that sales can come more often and easier if you turn your focus to educating rather than selling.
Further Reading: Educational Selling
Bradford Shimp is a small business thinker and writer, and the publisher of this fine blog. He is also the co-founder of an exciting newe educational business for entrepreneurs called Idea Anglers. Follow Bradford on Twitter.