In the sales trade, a salesperson who “shows up and throws up” pushes his agenda at customers with no concern for their needs or pain points. His canned presentation is all about his products and company. This approach bores customers to tears.
Better salespeople realize that selling is about motivating customers, which rarely happens by dumping product information on them. These salespeople work to understand the customer’s point of view and to put their product into the context of the customers world. Before talking product they might ask questions to find out...
• What are the problems or pain points unique to the customer?
• How does this customer fit into his or her competitive market?
• Are there technical, regulatory, or financial trends that will affect their needs?
• Which applications or best practices might affect this company's purchasing decisions?
Better salespeople focus on solving customer problems first, product information follows. They collect information and advice helpful to the customer not just with a purchase, but in using the product successfully.
Now, let’s get back to your website. Which of these two approaches describes the content on it? Is your content just about your company and products, or do you also have information helpful to solving customer problems?
Problem solving content can...
• Motivate registration (for a newsletter or webinar etc.) and capture early stage sales leads.
• Help your customers feel like you are committed to their success. Don’t you think this is more meaningful than just telling your customers how committed you are?
• Your customers become familiar with your website. Wouldn’t it be better if they were familiar with your website before they head into their next product purchase?
In a recent blog post, Junta 42 founder Joe Pulizzi shared a great example of this this on the Monster.com website. Pulizzi noted that the needs of Monster's customers, as they look for jobs in the recession, were addressed directly on the site:
"Let's take a look at challenges faced by those people looking for or trying to keep their job:
- What jobs will be readily available with the passage of the stimulus bill?
- If I'm downsized, what do I need to do now to protect my career?
- How much am I worth in a downturn?
- How do I protect my job in a tough economy?
- Can I still get a raise in a recession?
Those five questions that employees are struggling with are actually the first five articles on the Monster.com site."
Sure, Monster.com provides a job search service, but the content on the site does not hype their service, instead it services the customers.
What content is on your website? Hopefully, a balance of product and company information, combined with content that helps your customers solve problems. If it's all about you...your customers will not be frequent visitors.