Business aims to sell, but that is difficult when the market doesn’t like being sold to. Decades ago, it was easy to advertise products towards the consumers, but with the oversaturation of the market nowadays in terms of exposure to advertisements (3,000 to 20,000 ads and brand messages per day according to a 2014 study by Media Dynamics, Inc.), people are more skeptical and more dismissive of ads and people selling to them.
This also goes for corporations. CEOs have very little time and attention to spare for sales pitches – they’ve heard tons and they are less likely to be impressed over time.
But when you educate – no matter if you are talking to the common public or to a CEO of a major corporation, you gather their attention. You can turn ears towards your words, your message, and ultimately, you become a better marketer because you’ve successfully marketed to them.
The Difference Between Educating and Selling
The simplest way of differentiating the two is the purpose behind them. Selling aims to tell the consumers what they need to buy. It introduces the product or service to them. It may include offers like discounts or bundles to entice the market into making a purchase, but the main purpose is the same: to make a sale. And that makes it difficult because most people aren’t in Buying Mode just yet.
Educating, on the other hand, tells the consumers why they need to buy a product or service. It introduces and then goes into detail on what the customers want or need to know about the product when it comes to their concerns. It gives them a reason to be in Buying Mode.
Whereas selling is about “You need to buy this product!”, educating is telling them “We know you have a problem, and we want to help you out. Products like this will help you because its many features are specifically designed for the job. If you want to maximise on its use, here’s how you can do so. And here are some secrets about this kind of product that you should know. So, if you’re willing to try it out, we have one you can use!”
Educate, THEN Sell.
Selling makes a sale, but educating makes customers – and customers made are customers who will come back for more. Educating your customers helps them, lets them learn about something they care about, and that makes them trust you and your business. It sets you as an expert, a mentor, that the next time they have a problem, they will turn to you.
And that will let your opinion matter more than the first person that bombards them with offers.
When your opinion matters, people are going to be more receptive to your offers. A little nudge of “Hey, you might want to check out our offer in case you’re convinced,” is much more received – not only because it’s subtle and not intrusive – but because they are informed and satisfied with what they learned from you and are now ready to try it out.
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