Sales Secrets for Entrepreneurs: Increase Profits in 12 Months Flat Through Consumer Education Programs!
Posted on October 28th, 2010
You can attract far more prospects to look at your offer by providing an education than you'll ever get by simply offering your products or services. For example: Let's say you sell telephone systems, like Company X. Before discovering this concept, Company X would call hundreds of companies per day and ask if they were interested in talking about a new telephone system (product offer). They had four salespeople making hundreds of calls per day. They would get about 3 appointments per week.
First of all, every company that has a phone system that is five years old or older can probably benefit from a new phone system in some way. More than 15 major providers of phone systems just ten years ago are now OUT of the phone system business. Yet the companies that have these systems, as long as they are working and they can still get used parts, might not think they need a phone system.
So here's a company making hundreds of phone calls per day asking: "Would you like to talk about maybe getting a new phone system?" Anthing wrong with this process? No-- but, that's if you don't want to increase your profits and sales in 12 months flat.
Here are the three steps Company X used to its double sales, once they discovered the consumer education sales concept:
Step 1. The first thing they did was target bigger companies. The bigger the company, the bigger the phone system.
Step 2. The salespeople called the 2000 largest companies in their market with two simple questions: "Hi, we're doing our annual telephone system survey. I just need to know two things: What is the model of your phone system and how old is it?"
In two days, the salespeople had a list of 508 companies with old phone systems.
Step 3. The sales representatives called on these larger companies with one offer: "We have a new educational program entitled:The nine ways you're wasting money on your voice and data spending." They then continued with: "We've been in the telephone business for ten years now and we've found that every company wastes money on their voice and data spending in at least nine areas. So we put together this educational program as a way to teach companies how to stop wasting money and start saving their valuable dollars. We do this as a public relations effort. If you ever need any help at all with your voice, data or telephone system needs, we want you to know about us. So this is simply us putting our best foot forward."
This approach increased their appointment setting ten fold, from three appointments per week to 30 appointments per week. This company did $3 million the year before using this approach and put $9 million in their pipeline for the coming year in just six months of using this strategy.
What kind of a free education could YOU offer that would make your prospects want to meet with you? Or respond to your ad? Or take an interest in your direct mail approach?
Important point: Sales is about building rapport, not breaking it. When you SELL, you're breaking rapport. No one wants to be "sold." When you EDUCATE, you are building rapport. In fact, studies show that your credibility increases significantly when you begin all meetings with data that is of value to the prospect- start all your meetings by teaching your prospect something, or by giving them data that proves that you've completed your homework.
A newspaper company had fallen 40% in gross revenues and lost all of their profits. They used to call up clients and say: "Hi, we'd love to come and talk to you about advertising in our newspaper." They were quickly shut down and shut out.
They started providing a "community educational service to help local businesses succeed, which resulted in a significant increase not just in getting in through the door see prospects, but also in sales. This client went up $100 million in sales in a single year.
If your local newspaper called you up and offered to teach you the seven things that make all businesses succeed, you'd probably find that pretty hard to turn down. They'd still have to talk you into the meeting, but it would be an easier sell than talking you into an unwanted meeting to try and pitch advertising opportunities.
Naturally, there's more to this and the subtleties are where you succeed, but if you embrace the concept of "educational-based-marketing" you will out-market your competitors at every turn. Think about this; what makes this strategy so powerful is that it attracts buyers before they are even thinking about buying. Educational- based marketing casts a wider net, attracts more buyers at every turn and closes a higher percent of prospects if and only if the "education" you provide is of true value. This is the least expensive, most effective marketing concept you will ever use.