When you’re in business, you learn pretty quickly that separating someone from their hard-earned money is hard to do. And it’s getting even harder. The process of taking a complete stranger to a paying customer has become one of the most difficult accomplishments in business. And without trust, in today’s business environment, it simply will not happen. An education campaign for prospective customers used to be optional. But with increased competition and countless consumer choices, educating your prospects has become a basic business requirement, without which, your prospects will buy elsewhere.

Times Have Changed

Years ago, an educational component did not exist in business. Companies would run ads and take strangers and convert them to paying customers in one step. Over time, some limited education became a part of marketing campaigns but it was rare. Today, it’s absolutely required and you see all the best businesses implementing and executing education campaigns that build trust with prospects and lead to sales over time.

Why has this transition and evolution occurred? The main reason is that it has become much easier to shop, compare and price- match. Consumers are more savvy, skeptical and tentative about purchases until they have complete faith in the product, firm and person they’re considering. The education that was once optional is now mandatory.

Build & Refine Your Education Campaign

So what should be included in your education campaign? Every product and every service has technical aspects that are not common knowledge. So the easiest approach to building an education campaign is to list and communicate the biggest mistakes customers or clients make when buying your product or service. Include a piece on the 5 things you wish you knew before you bought (your product). Additionally, being able to delineate your Unique Selling Proposition clearly and in a compelling fashion is critical to separating yourself from the competition. In other words, what makes you special, different and better? This needs to be part of your education campaign. I spoke about this in a prior blog and it’s vital to your sale’s conversions. For more on developing a USP click here.

You can provide your education through an email campaign, YouTube videos, a newsletter campaign, or even an e-book. But the most common approach is to educate via your website. Your website should do three things for your business (and most don’t): it must capture leads, sell your product, and provide value-added education to visitors.

Trust is Paramount

Because trust is a prerequisite for every purchase, an education campaign with multiple touches spanning over several months will increase sales as much as two-fold. When converting strangers to customers, this education is simply not optional. The only shortcut I’ve ever seen is by tapping into your Personal Network and by generating Referrals from existing customers. This approach shortens the sales-cycle because you’ve already established trust through the relationship. So for obvious reasons, your Personal Network and Referral “plan” should be front and center in your marketing machine. For more information on how to build a Personal Network and Referral marketing plan, check out www.refermeiq.com. To your success and to smart marketing!
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Post author: Mike Rowan