Sellers who discover how to be successful without a marketing department, in a crowded marketplace, and when the customer isn’t even looking will be successful in almost any circumstances.
I got a question from a listener named Jon Billings who wanted to know how he could teach people who “don’t know what they don’t know.” For instance, if the customer isn’t looking because he doesn’t know he has a problem, how do I communicate that?
Especially in the case of sellers who don’t have access to a marketing department, how is that even possible?
Your goal is to educate your prospects so that they will look to you instead of your competition when they need help solving a problem.
Educating is the new sales. Regardless of the industry, you’re in, your marketplace is likely crowded.
- How do you stand out from the competition?
- How do you help customers recognize you as a differentiator?
You have to challenge the status quo, especially when many of your prospects already have solutions or they don’t realize the existence of a problem.
Become a content producer.
Even if you have a marketing department, you should have your own individual brand. Take that brand with you wherever you go.
Even if you change industries, your brand goes with you.
Write down the top 10 questions that customers ask you or that prospects bring up in conversation. Whether they center around cost or service, answer those questions in the form of sharable content.
You can write a blog or produce a podcast. Even better, you can create a LinkedIn article or video.
Focus on the problem while you’re answering the question.
For example, what other issues could your prospect focus on if he outsourced his IT services to your company? What opportunity costs exist?
My friend Kyle invited me to do a LinkedIn Live with him recently and we recorded an episode with him for our show as well.
Kyle told us about how he started sharing videos on YouTube answering questions, and though the videos weren’t very fancy in his estimation, someone reached out to him from Coca Cola with an opportunity for him.
He’s in the tech industry, and though there are countless other tech firms out there that are sending out RFPs. Kyle decided to be different, and it grabbed people’s attention.
Tap into brains
You won’t want to pitch your prospects right away. Instead, connect with them and ask for their assistance. Maybe you’re looking to write a LinkedIn article about things that the directors of large companies dislike and you’d like input from people who are filling those roles.
Get one tip from 10 people, and then when you post the article, tag all of the people who contributed. They’ll see your post, they’ll likely see your profile, and they’ll likely see your website.
Now, when you ask for a chance to introduce yourself in the future, they’ll be more likely to at least give you a chance since you connected on LinkedIn.
Even if you don’t have the benefit of written case studies, you may have some client testimonials or some stories you can tell. Talk about the problems your clients once had and highlight how you helped them solve those problems.
Now that you’ve written an article about the 10 things that directors of large companies dislike, you could also pitch podcast hosts with the idea.
You’ll be educating more people and becoming a thought leader. But you must create content around the things that people want to hear.
If you’re doing the same things every week and you’re seeing a diminishing return, put a little more effort in. You’ll be on your way to building interest in something when the customer isn’t looking.
“When The Customer Isn’t Looking” episode resources
Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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