On my very first day here at the Peloton, Mike gave me a book to read, “They ask you answer” by Marcus Sheridan.
In this book, Marcus talks about a ‘revolutionary approach’ to inbound sales, content marketing and today’s digital consumer. He shares his experience of a failing swimming pool business and how he was able to turn things around by embracing some basic principals that most businesses, at the time, were terrified to use.
Here are the top things I took from this book…
Be a teacher not a preacher
The best way to generate more sales, is to become an expert in your field. Rather than telling people how great you are and being ‘salesy’, educate them about your product or service. If you’re able to write helpful articles really answering the questions your customers and clients are asking, you’re on to a winner.
One way to implement this is to keep track of all the questions you as a business are asked, and address those as a blog post on your website.
Get everyone involved
Producing relevant content means everyone in your business needs to be involved.
It’s best to make sure that your team know what the concept of content marketing is, and ask them to forward any topics or questions they receive to the person who will be creating that content. That way you don’t have one person spending hours tracking every enquiry, you’re simply getting your team into the habit of forwarding emails or relaying phone calls that can help to create a useful piece of content for your website.
The more people you have thinking about marketing and sales in your business, the better.
Marcus describes Ostrich Marketing as quite simply, burying your head in the sand!
This is when a business avoids difficult questions they don’t want to answer. Like, why are your fees or product more expensive? If your fees or products are more expensive then it’s always best to explain why. And do that by clearly addressing it on your website. Is your product more robust? Do you spend extra time making your product? Are you offering a better service than your competitor? A customer will appreciate transparency and won’t be left with unanswered questions.
We must talk about costs
One particular focus in this book is to always give an idea of price on your website. Even if your pricing is bespoke, and can’t always be clear cut – try and give an example scenario of costs so customers can at least get an idea of how much you charge.
There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to buy something or sign up to a service and have to spend time figuring out the price. The great thing about having content [and especially costs] on your website is that it’s working for you 24/7.
Build trust (by being open and honest)
If your product or service is not the best option for your customer, then it really does pay to be honest. After all, you don’t want anyone to be unhappy or feel like they’ve been mis-sold.
A customer or client will admire your honesty and you may get their business another time or they may refer someone they know. At the very least, they will know that you’re a trustworthy source, and that is key for a businesses reputation.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone in business!