“Educate and inform instead of interrupt and sell.”—David Meerman Scott (2012)
Seven years after author and thought leader David Meerman Scott said this, I wish I could say that the pitches I get from salespeople have improved, but I can’t. I still get emails that try to break into my day to tell me about the features and benefits of some product or service.
Before I want to compare prices of different HR providers, or be pitched on your fiber optics solution, I want to better understand how to improve my brand as an employer, or what I could do with more bandwidth. Rather than helping me solve my business challenges and building rapport and trust, most sales emails I receive simply turn me off of the salesperson and the brand.
I am left scratching my head… Don’t most salespeople understand the SMB buyer’s journey? It starts with trying to solve a business problem, long before it involves actively looking for a vendor. Why aren’t salespeople trying to engage their prospects early in the journey with helpful content? More puzzling is that companies whose salespeople continue to send features-and-benefits emails often have the kind of helpful content that builds trust, engages and nurtures potential buyers on their websites.
Regardless of where in the buyer’s journey your salespeople engage with prospective customers, they should be armed with content that helps position your company as a trusted resource by helping their prospects with their businesses. Assuming that your marketing department already produces helpful, POV-changing content, it’s in everyone’s interest to make sure your salespeople are a) aware of it, b) trained to use it, and c) consistently using it.
Whether directly or through brands, we have been providing killer content for small businesses since 2003. We also hear from our network of 100s of business owners about their opportunities, challenges, likes, and dislikes. If you’re wondering how your salesforce can be more effective in building trust and engaging small business prospects, let’s set up a call. I’ll be happy to explain.
This article originally appeared in the April 2019 speakSMB newsletter. Each month, we include a note from Rob that’s only available to subscribers. We decided to share this month’s note on the site. Subscribe below so you do not miss Rob’s notes in the future.
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