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Copywriters: How to Let Content Do the Selling
Written by Freelance Writer and Author, William Ballard
"Pushy" isn’t the first word you want prospects to associate with your profession, but it’s a term that’s plagued the sales industry for years -- and for good reason.
With the old-school sales approach, you searched for prospects with the biggest budgets and earnestly pitched your products or services until they surrendered.
The ABCs (always be closing) became your guiding principles. If there wasn’t a need, you created one. If there wasn’t an interest, you plugged anyway. If you heard “No,” it just meant you turned the screws a little tighter.
Thankfully, those days are over and consumers are taking charge of the sales process. They don’t need -- or want -- someone talking at them or selling them on a product’s value proposition. In fact, consumers go through 70% - 90% of the buyer journey before contacting a vendor.
And for both B2B and B2C industries, content is holding their hands through the process.
Let Content Nurture Relationships for You
When consumers identify a need, they don’t have to go directly to the seller for more information. With a few key phrases and a Google search bar, they can become instant experts on a product or service without spending a dime. Content weighs in on most questions consumers have in the buying-decision phase.
The sales game isn’t about pushing out your product anymore; it’s about building meaningful relationships with prospects so they come to you when they’re ready to buy.
Here are five ways content marketing embodies the spirit of relationship-based sales:
1) It turns consumers towards your product or service
Education is at the core of relationship-based sales, and the same holds true with content. Relate to prospects on a personal level, and then educate them on the whats, hows, and whys of your product or service. For growing companies, content is a vehicle for scaling your expertise and reaching more prospects with fewer resources.
2) It fulfills needs instead of manufacturing them
Most products and services satisfy a consumer need or problem. Your content works in a similar fashion but fulfills the need for additional information. Provide content that meets consumer needs rather than manufacturing them.
3) It establishes trust, which is the foundation of the selling process
When content shares lessons, tips, and others secrets of the trade, it can add value to the purchase cycle. And with each consecutive piece, you’re positioned as a more credible expert in the eyes of the consumer, which helps instill trust -- a foundational principle of all long-lasting and meaningful relationships.
Remember this point: Every building requires a firm foundation before ever building up ward. To transform a prospect into a loyal customer (building upward) you must first establish a firm foundation of trust.
4) Content makes your brand human
Consumers want to buy from people, not companies. Content puts a face to a brand and helps the reader relate to you as a person before engaging in a conversation with you, in person.
5) It inspires meaningful conversations that lead to sales questions
Content naturally opens up a dialogue with readers, which can expedite the sales process and nurture trust. Your content qualifies leads and preps them before a sales call, so you can get straight to the tailored, hard-hitting questions that will close the sale.
Content that establishes you as a thought leader can guide readers through the sales funnel with ease. It informs them of industry trends, starts a conversation, and prepares prospects to buy from a trusted source -- you, of course.
Take Your Sales Efforts to the Next Level Through Informative Content "Marketing"
Forming meaningful relationships with a wide audience is a difficult and daunting task especially for startups or growing companies. Content scales this process, lends credibility to your expertise, and makes sales a more collaborative effort.
Consider the following strategies for boosting your sales efforts through content:
1) Write content for the consumer instead of for your wallet
Old-school sales principles put company goals first, but relationship-based sales principles center on consumer needs. Research what consumers actually want, and develop content around that. Create your inbound funnel, and write guest posts that address concerns for each type of lead. Let readers define their needs and further educate themselves on your company blog or by downloading your whitepaper or report. Run drip campaigns to nurture leads and develop those relationships.
2) Use content to add value
Relationship-based sales through content marketing always add value to its readers. If you’ve identified the needs of your prospects, you know how to improve their situations. Send published articles to prospects before sales calls to raise the quality of the conversation or let them know whether they’re a good fit for your product or service.
3) Use content to establish powerful connections
Old-school sales started by telling consumers their best options and then engaging in a point-counterpoint dance to hammer out any objections. Relationship-based sales start by listening to your prospects, then educating them on their best options. Share content with leads after a sales call to establish yourself as the consultant they need. Continue the conversation through education, and demonstrate your expertise.
Sharing high-quality content helps you achieve many of the same goals as traditional sales -- no aggressive sales pitch required. Consumers want applicable knowledge that will lead them through the buying decision process in order to make a decision they’re confident in. Take the first step toward nurturing a relationship through content, and the rest will fall perfectly into place.
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About the Author
William Ballard is the proud author of, "The True Writer's Life: Discovering the Author and Finisher of Our Faith".
He has been writing professionally for over 10+ years and has much experience within the industry, both in publishing and in freelance writing. He has successfully self-published over 10 books and eBooks. Visit his Amazon Author Page to see list of his most recent projects.