Do you have trouble converting prospects into closed business? The problem could be that they are not ready to buy. They don’t know enough about your product to make the final buy decision. In this post, we look at how to educate your prospects and prime them to buy, because the simple truth is this.
Most people are not ready to have a sales conversation.
According to a study by RAIN Group, it takes about eight touches to book an appointment with a new lead. A study published in the Harvard Business Review echoed this, finding that your chance of making contact doesn’t peak (90%) until the sixth attempt.
In most cases, the timing is wrong. They could be the right person at the right company, but they are just not ready to have that dreaded sales conversation.
Your buyer’s journey is now digital. Buyers continue to educate themselves until they are ready to purchase. As you already know, people educate themselves via Google search and get most of the way through the buyer journey before you ever know they exist. That’s why it’s so important to have your brand associated with trustworthy and authoritative content during those learning stages. Make sure it’s your content they’re educating themselves with.
Here are 6 ways to educate prospects and prime them to buy.
Help your prospects get better at their jobs.
The cloud-based graphic design software Canva publishes an excellent Design School microsite that helps designers get better at what they do. They’re helping people improve the skills they would need to use any design software while positioning themselves as the best option to use in that category.
Educate prospects about your process.
Ideal for prospects who are a little further down the sales funnel, the basic idea here is that prospects want to know what it would be like to work with you. The questions aren’t, “How does this feature set work,” but, “How does this relationship work?” Provide content that answers this question to increase your chances of converting when the time is right.
Make the familiar strange.
Take old processes and products your prospects are familiar with and show them something amazing and new they can do with it. I do this at Leadstream by showing people how to turn the traditional corporate interactions on LinkedIn into something that can benefit both parties and lead to more sales for our clients by simply asking for what you want.
Make the strange familiar.
Demystifying a complicated tool or process is perhaps one of the most valuable things you can do for someone who wants to use it. Personally, I find this one of the easiest of the 6 ways to educate your prospects and the upside is that it positions you as the authority in the space. Examples of this are explaining what the changes in the LinkedIn algorithm mean for people, or showing people how to customize their LinkedIn URL to boost their appearances in search results.
Grow the market.
You can’t market to a customer base that doesn’t exist yet, so it may be up to you to cultivate it. Some companies don’t need just to build brand awareness; they need to build awareness of whole product categories – self-driving cars, 3-D printing.., if you can educate prospects on what these new technologies mean for them, then they’ll see you as a trusted resource when the time is right for them to jump in. Click here is a treasure trove of examples of this strategy in action.
Grow the ecosystem.
Finally, most companies rely on an ecosystem of strategic partners to help them effectively sell to their target market. Ford Motor Company’s famous connection to the Firestone family is a great example of this. Not only did Ford need customers to understand the horseless carriage, but it also needed manufacturers of tires, steel, and other materials and parts to understand the emerging product.
An action plan to educate your prospects and prime them to buy.
Wrapping this all up, here is a checklist of steps to help you implement this:
- Experiment with these 6 ways to educate your prospects to find which work best for you.
- Double down on those that do.
- Make them part of your weekly routines.
- Create and post content that will position you as the trusted option the next time your prospect is ready to buy.
How Do You Apply This To LinkedIn?
In my online course, where I help business owners and sales professionals use their LinkedIn profile as a sales channel, we often talk about how you can provide value to your prospects. No one wants to read messages that shout about how great you are and how much you can help. People want proof, and they want value. By adopting the mindset of educating your prospects, you can provide value, build a relationship and ultimately prime them to buy from you when the time is right. LinkedIn is a Flywheel and you need a long-term view of creating awareness and educating your prospects before they’re ready to buy from you.