Please just sell me something!

I’m not sure about you, but when I go to buy something, I want to know how it meets my needs and how much it costs. That’s it. I understand that sometimes a more consultative approach is required if the thing I’m buying is solving a complex problem but if I am buying an app or a simple online service, I just need the core information. So why are people so afraid to say that they are selling something and how much it costs?

Keep it simple
Marketing is obsessed with adding value, upselling, cross selling etc. rather than keeping things simple and meeting a customer’s need. If you go to your local market the green grocer doesn’t feel the need to position his fresh veg as ‘revolutionising, game changing food products that provide a 360-degree way to sustain yourself’. He just shouts the product and price – and people buy it. It’s a simple transaction that meets the customer’s need in the most efficient way. So why are we so often faced with such a poor user experience when it comes to buying online?

The obsession with (and often misuse of) the term ‘content marketing’ means that marketers are so focused on pushing personal insight, research results, market news or the latest buzz phrase on their website that they forget to focus on addressing their customer needs. The result, a shotgun or ‘spray and pray’ approach to content development and its placement online, which might create awareness but probably won’t help you sell.

It’s not just about awareness – it’s about selling
Gilroy’s customers are global brands. Their target audience have heard of them – what they need is awareness regarding ‘what they sell’ or ‘how they can help customers overcome issues’. Which would you rather have, a pipeline of revenue or lots of customers that have read your latest article on datacentre transformation?

Of course there are plenty of products and services that you cannot provide basic information like pricing for, but then it’s even more important to consider your words, the information you do provide and to have a strong call to action to initiate contact. Prospective buyers need the fundamental information quickly, or in a couple of steps. Remember you are selling something, not just telling them how great you are.

Start with customer needs, not the technology
Websites or standalone campaign microsites often look amazing, work on mobile devices (most of the time) and make use of the latest widgets but fail to communicate: ‘what they sell’; ‘how much it costs’; and ‘how someone can buy it’.

An eye-tracking study from Jakob Nielsen found that organisations have less than 10 seconds to capture the attention of a potential buyer and that less than 20% of the text they see is actually remembered. I suspect in reality it’s even less.

Be brave, it will pay off
At Gilroy our advice is always to cut through the online noise with clarity and straight forward messaging. Try not to be too clever, your customers and prospects won’t appreciate it. If you can’t communicate who you are, what you sell and how you can meet your customer’s needs quickly, you’ll lose them. The key thing is being able to see the wood for the trees – stand back and ask yourself, “If I were a prospect, would I get what I need from this?”

If you are offering a great piece of intellectual property as part of your sales process and it’s free – tell people that you will be contacting them to sell them something. If they don’t agree to that, then they simply can’t download the article. If your content is strong and addresses a core challenge, most people will be happy to take a call and find out more.

Gilroy specialises in Stakeholder Engagement and Sales Enablement. If you want your content to sell and drive revenues, rather than just brand awareness, contact us or visit our website for more information: http://www.gilroy.co.uk/whatwedo/stakeholder-engagement.

Remember – if you are confident in your product or service it’s fine to offer to sell it to your potential customers – see what we did there?

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