This is the second audio blog lesson in the Get Edified! Marketing and Sales Series, a complimentary series of lessons for entrepreneurs, business leaders, and anyone who sells a product or idea. Whether you’re selling to make a living or seeking to convince someone to adopt your idea, these lessons apply. In short, this series is for everyone because everyone sells in some form or fashion.
(If the audio player above does not work for you, click here instead to listen to the full audio lesson.)
Years ago, there was a very funny and popular commercial for Wendy’s. It was a woman adamantly asking, “Where’s the beef?”
Of course, the implication there was that Wendy’s hamburgers had more beef than their competitors. It became a catch phrase. People everywhere were asking, “Where’s the beef?” There were t-shirts and bumper stickers…and this woman became somewhat of a cult hero of the time.
In our previous lesson, we talked about sizzle and steak. Sizzle attracts – it gets attention. But the steak is what satisfies the appetite. Sizzle sets the expectation, and the steak delivers. And it is vital that the steak you deliver meets the expectation you have created.
The Buy-Sell Connection
- Selling is about getting the order.
Very often, if you’re not getting the order, it is because you are talking and not listening.
If your marketing is “buy from me, buy from me, buy from me,” people are going to have their arms folded in front of them or their hands wrapped around their wallet to protect it.
If your marketing is all about “you, you, you,” and not about them, you will not get the order. It’s as simple as that. This kind of pitch goes in one ear and out the other. In short order, they will tune you out, and you will no longer be able to get their attention. Not only will you not be able to sell to them – you will be blocked from even marketing to them.
- Buying is the mirror image of selling.
If you sell the right message, the natural mirror effect is buying. And the right message is all about your people, and not about you. People will only buy when doing so meets their need or fulfills their desire. With so many options out there today, this is more important than ever.
People will buy from you if you deliver well on a product or service that fulfills their need or desire. That is the bottom line. Deliver the steak. (Tweet this.)
The KLT Factor
All things being equal, people will want to do business with those they know, like, and trust (KLT). This is why the About page of a website is generally the second most visited page, and why reviews are so important in today’s buying process.
But KLT does not mean they are going to buy from you. It simply means they might.
This lesson is about the steak. In business, we call that content marketing and delivery of products, services, and materials. Steak is the value of what you offer.
If what you’re “selling” doesn’t meet a need or desire of your people, why would they buy? It is all about focusing on their needs – not yours.
The Marketing Onslaught
We are bombarded with marketing. Our every move is tracked…for marketing. We spend a generous amount of money on Facebook ads…for marketing.
Some estimate we receive as many as two to three thousand sales messages per day in some form or fashion.
The irony is that most selling messages are either not remembered or are remembered incorrectly.
The World’s Most Popular Station
The fact is, you have to be memorable. You must find a way to stand out in a noisy, noisy world.
You do this by showing up on the most popular radio station in the world, WIIFM. WIIFM is “What’s In It For Me?”
This is where your people are and the question they are subconsciously asking each time they receive a message. In the bombardment of messages they receive, this is their natural filter. It is a question of relevance.
For every email you draft, every campaign you launch, and every product or service you offer, ask WIIFM on behalf of your people. If you can answer that with something that is of value to them, you have a solid deliverable.
Content marketing is not about chasing SEO, algorithms, and the latest marketing trends. All of these can change on a dime. Content marketing is all about delivering value. Do that, and the rest naturally falls into place. Don’t write for Google. Write for your people.
Here is a question for you: “What value do you deliver?”
Note that I didn’t say, “What do you do?” What you do is about YOU. The value you deliver is about YOUR PEOPLE.
And I didn’t say, “Who are you associated with?” Associations and accreditations are of value to YOU, but your people only want to know what you can do for them. They may be impressed by your associations, but they will buy based on what you, personally, deliver and whether or not you meet their needs.
What you do that has value to others is bedrock. But just as important is knowing your people.
“Whom do you serve?”
Over time, you will hone in to your people enough to know their needs implicitly and to speak their language to the point where they say, “You get it.” That is the buy-in point – when you “get” exactly what they need and can deliver it.
Invest time in getting to know your people.
You’ve been on this planet for a long time. You’ve helped people already and have worked for people. Whether you have contracted with them and gotten paid for it, or have served as a volunteer, you have impacted people’s lives.
Who are they, and what did you do? What do they say is the value they received?
The Essence of Content Marketing and Delivery
- Who are you?
- What values do you deliver?
- Who do you deliver it to?
- Why would they buy from you?
You have to share with your prospective clients and customers what it is like to do business with you. This is often called “the pink spoon” of marketing, where you offer them a sample of what it is like to experience your product or service.
It often works hand in hand with the assurance of a guarantee.
These two factors allow a prospect to try before they buy, and then know they are protected after the sale as well. Few people would buy a house sight-unseen with no way out of the deal, yet many business owners ask people to do this all the time with their product or service.
Cold selling is the hardest selling of all. Today’s world is all about relationship (warm) marketing.
The Marketing Avenues
Marketing can take a variety of forms. Here are some forms and examples. The key is to deliver value with each offering, and then continue to add even more value after the sale.
- A white paper
- A case study
- Testimonials where people are talking about what they’ve received from you
- Video blogging
- “How To” guide
- Free download PDF
- Online Interviews
- Publications (local newspaper, industry journal)
- Media – Radio, TV, Podcasting
- LinkedIn Articles and Groups
- Facebook Group
There are many avenues. Start with just one to three and focus on serving the needs of your people.
Ed DeCosta is one of the most engaging executive coaches and thought leaders of our time. He delivers results with companies of all sizes, from high tech start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Ed is an ICF certified professional coach. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University, a master’s degree in international management from the University of Texas, and an MBA from the University of Texas. Ed is also an adjunct faculty member in West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics, teaching Professional Selling and entrepreneurship courses.