Educate and articulate is perhaps one of the biggest failings of almost every business. People assume (wrongly) that their prospects will make choices based on minimal information. Sometimes that’s true, but in the majority of cases prospects need more information to be able to act decisively, and choose you before your competition. Let me explain…
Every time someone is in the process of making a decision to purchase something there are about thirteen questions that run through their mind, either consciously, or subconsciously…
- “Do I want the benefits of this product or service?” Don’t try to sell me an insurance policy, a car or a refrigerator; those are the last things I want to spend my money on.
- “Is this the right product or service to solve my needs or problems?” There are lots of selections out there. What makes this particular one right for me?
- “Is this the right company, producer or manufacturer to purchase this product or service from?” There are a lot of options to consider. Why this particular one?
- “Is this the right place of business… the right store, shop or agency to buy from? Again, lots of choices. What makes yours so special and why should I consider it?
- “Are you the right person to buy it from?” My brother-in-law sells the same product. Why should I buy from you? Do you have testimonials or proof sources from others who have purchased from you? What extra-mile things can I expect from you that I won’t get from anyone else?
- “Is this the right price to pay for this product or service?” Am I getting the best value for the dollars you’re asking me to spend with you? Can I get a better price for the same product or benefits elsewhere? If you’re charging me more than your competitor, why should I pay your price?
- “Is this the right time to buy or invest in this product?” What if I put off my decision for a month, six months, a year or more? How will that affect me? I heard there may be some sales, rebates, incentives, or discounts coming up. If I buy now and the price is lowered, will I be able to take advantage of the new lower prices, or will I be stuck?
- “How do I pay for it?” Do I have to pay the entire amount up front? Can I make monthly payments? How much is the service charge or interest? Do you take credit cards?
- “What if this product or service is not right for me? What if I don’t like it, or I don’t want it? What if I change my mind?” Do you have a “look-see” or trial period? If so, how long is it? What if I find a better or cheaper price elsewhere or I just don’t want it anymore? Can I return the product or cancel this service or contract and get a refund?
- “How can I be assured that I getting the absolute best value for the money I’m about to spend?” I work hard for my money. It doesn’t come easy. If I spend it with you, what assurances do I have that I’ve made the right decision? My friend says he’s doing business with one of your competitors and he paid much less for the same product. Am I about to make the right choice? How can I know for sure?
- “Why should I do business with you, instead of any and all other options I have… including doing nothing at all?” Give me in one sentence, a capsulated statement as to why doing business with you is the best choice I have. Buying insurance, a car, home, appliance, vacation package, new machinery or equipment is a serious proposition and my money is valuable to me. How can I be assured that doing business with you is he absolute best choice I have?
- “What are the most common mistakes other people make when buying this type of product or service?” I don’t want to make a mistake, look foolish, or lose my money. What foolish or uninformed decisions do other make when buying this type of product?
- “How can I avoid making those same mistakes?” Put my fears to rest. Make me totally and completely comfortable in my decision to spend my money with you for this product or service at this time.
Now what do you think happens if you don’t answer all these relevant concerns?
That’s right, the prospect will turn to someone else. It goes without saying that in order for you to acquire BIG increases in sales you have to educate and articulate.
What does that mean?
For example, it means you need to explain clearly why you charge higher (or lower) than your competitors, you need to explain how and why your product or service is better than your competitors and so on.
Tell them about your expertise… the rigorous lengths you take to recruit staff… How long you spend training your staff. What steps you take to ensure customer satisfaction, and so on.
This stuff is important – really important.
It provides the rational behind your prospects decisions and helps cement the sale.
Often we think that if we say too much it will repel prospects. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Tests have proven time after time that as long as a prospect is interested in a product or service, they are willing to consume large amounts of information – as long as the information provided is interesting, informative and relevant.
The more relevant information you provide the easier it becomes for your prospects to make an informed decision. And as long as you ‘Educate And Articulate’ you’ll generate many more sales for your business than ever before.
I think this is one of those things that almost every business owner fights against. It just doesn’t seem logical that to sell more you have to say more and write more.
What I mean by this is if it only takes one paragraph to get the job done fine. Don’t write two. If it takes two pages to get the job done – fine don’t write 4. If it takes 12 pages to get the job done – then 12 pages it has to be, but not a word more.
Does that make sense?
If you ask ‘how long should it be’ – the answer is always – ‘as long as it takes’.
Also you don’t have to give all the information at each stage of your ‘sales cycle’. As you read earlier, one of the Foundation Strategies is called ‘Laser Beam Focus’. What this essentially means is that you need to understand at each stage what outcome you want. So for example if you’re writing a lead generation advert, the purpose is simply ‘to generate good quality enquiries’. Therefore the information you provide is only relevant to getting the enquiry. It’s only later where you may need to give more information about your product or service.
The advert would only contain information on WHY they should respond – nothing more is relevant.
We not only understand the importance of ‘Educate and Articulate’ we also know how to apply it and in what ‘quantities’. There are a number of rules we apply to make this whole process more scientific, and of course we apply the rules at each stage of the sales cycle.
The key though is to make sure at every stage of the sales process (lead generation through to sales conversion through to customer maximization) you are answering all the possible questions, doubts, concerns, potential frustrations a prospect or customer may be having.
That doesn’t mean you go mad and educate and articulate for the sake of it. Less is definitely more, but you need sufficient information to cover all the bases.