Are you educating prospects as your sales pitch? If not you should and here's why...

29 replies
I've been in sales for a very long time and having learned over many failed pitches what works most often and what doesn't I've learned the education based sales gets the best results in the long run.

In almost every case whatever service or product you are selling to a prospect, it has been pitched to them before by a competitor. They've heard it before and therefor you had better be standing above the crowd!

Why does it work?

We live in a society that live and breaths information and learning.

We live in a society that views teachers as the authoritative source.

We live in a society that believe and follows teachers or those who teach.

We live in a society that has confidence in those who teach.

When we teach our prospects some things we immediately set ourselves apart from all the other yahoos who merely tried to "sell" them a mobile site, web site, sms, or whatever.

When we teach our prospects they change their perspective about us and move us from salesperson trying to grab their money too the person who is an authority figure and some one to listen too.

When we teach our prospects it instills their confidence in us and it's that confidence that helps them hand over the money.

When we teach our prospects it shows we "care" that they understand and that we know what we're talking about!

When we teach our prospects it sets up apart and even if we don't "close" that deal at the time the prospect will ALWAYS remember what you taught them.

The power behind this is that they will always remember one or two things you taught them, so when the next salesperson comes by they'll be listening to see if they bring up the same things you taught them. They might even test them by asking them about something you taught them when you pitched them. When the salesperson stammers and stutters to find an answer the thing that's going on in the prospects mind is that "YOU" taught them that and perhaps they should just call you back!

When you teach your prospects they'll remember that that no one else who's pitched them on the same services conveyed such understanding and knowledge and took the time to explain it to them. They'll be measuring this yahoo in front of them against you know who? YOU! Why? Because you taught them and it forced them to position you as the authority by which all the other salespeople are now measured!

There, now you know how to close deals in essence so go and do it!

P.S. This shit is golden so don't read it lightly!
#educating #pitch #prospects #sales
  • Profile picture of the author jfbmarketing
    Rus l would agree with you, educating your prospects providing them with information they can absorb, review in order for them to gain the most important but forgotten feature of any sale trust and respect from you. People do not buy items cause they need them they buy them because they trust you. if your not educating your prospects with some sort of funnel providing them with benefits until you lead them to your golden primary offer your wasting your time....thanks for sharing
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    All the Best,

    Joseph F. Botelho

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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      Thanks for the kudos.

      Something else I forgot to mention was that it helps the prospect feel assured they are making an informed and intelligent decision!

      Originally Posted by jfbmarketing View Post

      Rus l would agree with you, educating your prospects providing them with information they can absorb, review in order for them to gain the most important but forgotten feature of any sale trust and respect from you. People do not buy items cause they need them they buy them because they trust you. if your not educating your prospects with some sort of funnel providing them with benefits until you lead them to your golden primary offer your wasting your time....thanks for sharing
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  • Profile picture of the author TheBigBee
    Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

    I've been in sales for a very long time and having learned over many failed pitches what works most often and what doesn't I've learned the education based sales gets the best results in the long run.

    In almost every case whatever service or product you are selling to a prospect, it has been pitched to them before by a competitor. They've heard it before and therefor you had better be standing above the crowd!

    Why does it work?

    We live in a society that live and breaths information and learning.

    We live in a society that views teachers as the authoritative source.

    We live in a society that believe and follows teachers or those who teach.

    We live in a society that has confidence in those who teach.

    When we teach our prospects some things we immediately set ourselves apart from all the other yahoos who merely tried to "sell" them a mobile site, web site, sms, or whatever.

    When we teach our prospects they change their perspective about us and move us from salesperson trying to grab their money too the person who is an authority figure and some one to listen too.

    When we teach our prospects it instills their confidence in us and it's that confidence that helps them hand over the money.

    P.S. This shit is golden so don't read it lightly!
    Spot on. Don't be afraid to explain exactly what it is you do, and how it is you do it. Ideas / strategies are worthless, it's all about execution.
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  • Profile picture of the author jfbmarketing
    Absolutely l do agree with you>>>
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    All the Best,

    Joseph F. Botelho

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  • Profile picture of the author Voasi
    This is a center point with how we close our deals. We've beat out top SEO companies, companies that you've heard of, because our "close pitch" is an education-based close.

    It's the Freemium model, which is what I talk about in one of my WSO's (below) about how you can give fantastic nuggets of information to get the deal closed. Shoot, give them the whole GAMEPLAN... make it sound so grandiose and difficult that they won't want to do it themselves, so they hire you. PLUS, they learn a little something for the next guy that tries to pitch them. I've had clients actually TELL ME when other SEO's called them and they just shoot them down because of everything they've learned from us.

    If you're not educating your prospects in this day of "Everyone and their Mother is an SEO", then you're not differentiating yourself and probably won't be closing the deal.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joel
      "Trust trumps price":
      - what are you doing to create trust with your prospects ... educating them is one method.

      "People buy from people they like":
      - people like people who are like themselves ... what are you doing to emulate the style of the buyer?
      - people like people they know ... they get to know you more more each time you stop by

      Joel
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        Your exactly right and I sort of surprised that there hasn't been more people responding to this thread.

        What's up folks?

        Is it that you don't feel confident enough to assume a teaching type role in your sales pitch/process?

        Originally Posted by Joel View Post

        "Trust trumps price":
        - what are you doing to create trust with your prospects ... educating them is one method.

        "People buy from people they like":
        - people like people who are like themselves ... what are you doing to emulate the style of the buyer?
        - people like people they know ... they get to know you more more each time you stop by

        Joel
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

    I've been in sales for a very long time and having learned over many failed pitches what works most often and what doesn't I've learned the education based sales gets the best results in the long run.

    In almost every case whatever service or product you are selling to a prospect, it has been pitched to them before by a competitor. They've heard it before and therefor you had better be standing above the crowd!

    Why does it work?

    We live in a society that live and breaths information and learning.

    We live in a society that views teachers as the authoritative source.

    We live in a society that believe and follows teachers or those who teach.

    We live in a society that has confidence in those who teach.

    When we teach our prospects some things we immediately set ourselves apart from all the other yahoos who merely tried to "sell" them a mobile site, web site, sms, or whatever.

    When we teach our prospects they change their perspective about us and move us from salesperson trying to grab their money too the person who is an authority figure and some one to listen too.

    When we teach our prospects it instills their confidence in us and it's that confidence that helps them hand over the money.

    When we teach our prospects it shows we "care" that they understand and that we know what we're talking about!

    When we teach our prospects it sets up apart and even if we don't "close" that deal at the time the prospect will ALWAYS remember what you taught them.

    The power behind this is that they will always remember one or two things you taught them, so when the next salesperson comes by they'll be listening to see if they bring up the same things you taught them. They might even test them by asking them about something you taught them when you pitched them. When the salesperson stammers and stutters to find an answer the thing that's going on in the prospects mind is that "YOU" taught them that and perhaps they should just call you back!

    When you teach your prospects they'll remember that that no one else who's pitched them on the same services conveyed such understanding and knowledge and took the time to explain it to them. They'll be measuring this yahoo in front of them against you know who? YOU! Why? Because you taught them and it forced them to position you as the authority by which all the other salespeople are now measured!

    There, now you know how to close deals in essence so go and do it!

    P.S. This shit is golden so don't read it lightly!
    NEWBIES PAY ATTENTION to this post by Rus sells. This is the type of information that will help you really get PAID.

    People are always talking about 'relationship selling' and 'building a rapport', without really understanding what that means. It doesn't mean trying to become their new best fake friend, it entails exactly what you have outlined here.

    You are right, this is another FREE GOLD NUGGET. Thank you.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Good to see you back posting Rus
      because of one's like this.

      I recall I had to get it out of you on my post on advertising for
      web designers on this same subject.

      There's a number of reasons why educating prospects
      works in our favor so well.

      You and others have pointed out some but there are other advantages as well.

      The challenge is assembling the data and then putting it together which makes for interesting reading to a hot prospect.

      An example comes from a maker of hair conditioner.
      They went to an ad agency to come up the advertising for it.

      How the heck do you come up with an ad with substance without paid models touting it?

      Well the head ad guy researched what was the leading cause of hair damage
      for women. He discovered it was hair dryers.

      So he wrote the ad which went something like this... Using a hair dryer for x seconds is the equivalent of a baking a sponge cake in your oven!

      Having a lead in like that captures their imagination and sets them up for the educational piece followed by the only product designed to fix the problem.

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Here's an example of one for an ad agency...



        Best,
        Ewen

        P.S. In print an educational ad is called an advortorial
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  • You make a great point about educating prospects. It's even more important these days because people are looking for information about your product right now.

    In the B2B world for example, buyers do much more research themselves before they ever talk to potential vendors.

    You want to publish great content that helps them make buying decisions, and positions you as an expert at the same time.
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    Just wanted to make sure the Newbies get to read this important post.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    A cool thing about educating prospects, and one of the reasons it's effective, is not only in establishing oneself as an expert but it's actually also a way to cut out the competition by exploiting their flaws, isn't it? That's what I do with it.
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      A cool thing about educating prospects, and one of the reasons it's effective, is not only in establishing oneself as an expert but it's actually also a way to cut out the competition by exploiting their flaws, isn't it? That's what I do with it.
      you don't name and shame do you? I mean you don't say xyz companies sucks because they do or don't do xxx

      You just show there is a hole with an unnamed competition, and then educate
      how your company doesn't.

      The only reason I am mentioning it, is I think some of the new sales people
      will get the wrong impression and start naming off their competition

      which is bad on many levels.

      So if you could clarify for the new to sales group,
      that would be great.
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      • Profile picture of the author misterme
        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        you don't name and shame do you? I mean you don't say xyz companies sucks because they do or don't do xxx

        You just show there is a hole with an unnamed competition, and then educate
        how your company doesn't.
        I don't name names. I talk about how the competition in general handles things compared to how I do it and why how I do it gets better results and theirs don't.
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  • Profile picture of the author vne5
    Theres a good chance that if you set your self up as a "consultant" rather than a salesperson, you won't really have to sell that hard. Coming across as a consultant and educating your clients about your services, most definitely has a HUGE impact on stopping or resolving "customer service" issues. You will also get a ton more referrals.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hogre
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      A cool thing about educating prospects, and one of the reasons it's effective, is not only in establishing oneself as an expert but it's actually also a way to cut out the competition by exploiting their flaws, isn't it? That's what I do with it.
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      you don't name and shame do you? I mean you don't say xyz companies sucks because they do or don't do xxx

      You just show there is a hole with an unnamed competition, and then educate
      how your company doesn't.

      The only reason I am mentioning it, is I think some of the new sales people
      will get the wrong impression and start naming off their competition

      which is bad on many levels.

      So if you could clarify for the new to sales group,
      that would be great.
      Great post OP.But I have a question.I don't want to "name and shame" but the situation is rather peculiar.

      You see, I have a new client and I'm providing leads for him.He has his own website which ranks No.7.I went to his web designer's site and saw that this person is involved in ranking his and three other sites in direct competition.

      The same niche,same keywords.My client is getting the short end of the stick.Now that's just wrong in my book.How the flick do you do that,btw?

      I'm not interested in taking the job (unless he's satisfied with the second position,just below my site).

      I'm going to tell him because I think that's the right thing to do.Because "Clients are people under my protection",right Ewen?

      Would LOVE some input on this.

      Thanks guys, you're awesome.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

    When we teach our prospects they change their perspective about us and move us from salesperson trying to grab their money too the person who is an authority figure and some one to listen too.

    P.S. This shit is golden so don't read it lightly!
    Intelligent and important post, I thought.

    I re-read the posts to make sure I'm not repeating someone. To me, the chief advantage of "Advertorial selling", selling by educating...is that it bypasses all the walls that people naturally put up against salespeople.

    It bypasses the part of the brain that is the "fight or flight" center.

    It's why Advertorials pull high multiples in response over other forms of ads. It's why magazines forbid them for the most part.

    In fact, I have to watch myself when selling this way to not be too enthusiastic..or too salesmany. It's cost me sales, if the person stops thinking of me as an adviser, and I sound like I'm selling.

    One the other side of the coin, we have to be aware that a lot of what we perceive as news and information is really slanted commentary with an agenda. Remember (you old farts out there) when there was "The News"?.

    Thank you Rus "My shit is golden" Sells.
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    • Profile picture of the author socialentry
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


      One the other side of the coin, we have to be aware that a lot of what we perceive as news and information is really slanted commentary with an agenda. Remember (you old farts out there) when there was "The News"?.

      Thank you Rus "My shit is golden" Sells.
      For us young bucks what is "the news"?:confused:
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        For us young bucks what is "the news"?:confused:
        I can't tell if you are joking or not.
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        • Profile picture of the author socialentry
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I can't tell if you are joking or not.
          I'm not joking, I'm in my mid 20s and I have no clue what "the News" could be.
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

            I'm not joking, I'm in my mid 20s and I have no clue what "the News" could be.
            There used to be just three national networks. And there was the national news and the local news. Reporters were not allowed to offer opinions, or show bias. In fact, you couldn't tell at all (in 99% of cases) how they felt about any story.

            The news was completely apart from entertainment. The news reported facts, without embellishment. It would be boring compared to today, but everyone got their information from the national networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS.

            Think of what you read in the most trusted newspapers. Not FOX, not MSNBC, not a commentator...reporters who looked for facts, checked them, and reported what they knew. The "News" was like that.

            Of course, someone will pick out an instance where mistakes were made, Sure... but not out and out lies, and comments taken out of context. The happened, but they weren't the basis of the shows.

            I'm sure Youtube has old news reported by news reporters. Anything before maybe 1975. (I pulled that year out of a hat).

            Now, you have half the country thinking the other half is full of sheep following their evil leaders. It's useful in marketing, but not constructive.

            The original thought behind this was that advertorials are slanted stories with an agenda...disguised as information and news. Very useful for marketing. My point was that we should know the difference between an ad, entertainment, and real news.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    I dont get on much russ but always enjoy your posts. Educations is exactly how I sold and is exactly how I train and consult sales people.

    There are so many psychological reasons I do it and many you mentioned. Equipping a client with knowledge creates a rapport that always ends in the client selling themselves.

    As kenmichaels mentioned newbies there is no need in cutting down the competition true pros have no need. With proper education you are already doing the opposite of most sales reps and setting yourself apart.

    Very few reps sell threw education because they fear time constraints will lose attention of the client. However those of us who know the psychology and techniques of the "why" you educate, have a high enough closing ratio that we don't lose that clients attention and we don't concern ourselves as much with time know we have to talk to less clients to close a sale.
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  • Profile picture of the author globalpro
    Rus, like Ewen said, glad to have you back.

    The interesting thing about your post is the same understanding should be applied to the client you are working with. Establishing them as THE authority in their area for what they do is what makes the difference.

    I started doing just what you are saying, a while back, when approaching prospects. I want them to be informed on what is needed to effectively market their business. Since I believe a mix of online and offline marketing has to be used, I never criticize what they are doing, but 'show' them how they could be doing it better (ROI). And I stay focused on not what I do, or how I do it, but that my goal is getting them results (customers in the door).

    The other thing I've started doing is steering them towards 'selling' to me. At the end of the day I will always go back to being someone who needs a product or service (car acting up, floor needs replaced, etc.), so have prospect tell me why I should buy from them. I am going to buy what I need from someone, so why them?

    It has really helped me to see what is working and what is not, then map out an effective strategy to build on, with the emphasis on them being the go-to person for what ever they do (branding and authority).

    I did wrestle with the Highlander Paradox (there can be only one), but am finding that once they start getting results, they will pay to maintain that status ( can we say recurring income?).

    Anyway, so glad to have you back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Ken, Mister, and Claude,

    A clarification:

    When I'm pitching burial insurance, I ALWAYS name names of my competition and educate them on how their programs work as well as communicate their short-comings.

    Why? Because I want to smoke out ahead of time the "let me shop around" objection.

    If I don't talk about the stuff they get mailed all the time, I'm leaving a huge gap open that I know I will lose sales through.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Rearden View Post

      Ken, Mister, and Claude,

      A clarification:

      When I'm pitching burial insurance, I ALWAYS name names of my competition and educate them on how their programs work as well as communicate their short-comings.

      Why? Because I want to smoke out ahead of time the "let me shop around" objection.

      If I don't talk about the stuff they get mailed all the time, I'm leaving a huge gap open that I know I will lose sales through.
      When I was selling life insurance. I would compare the different types of life insurance (maybe three). And then funnel them down to the one I would show them. This was only to give them that "I shopped around" feeling. Nothing more.

      When selling vacuums I had a chart that listed the top, most expensive brands. It was designed to price condition, and also give them the feeling that they shopped before buying.

      Personally, I never believe those charts.
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  • Lately, I had need of a septic tank pumper and inspector. I called all five of the local businesses who had these services to offer.

    One of these business stood out head and shoulders above the rest. Why? Simply because the woman (owner-partner) was at ease teaching me all about what I might run up against with the problem I was being confronted with. She was patient, kind and knowledgeable.

    She was so thorough in teaching me what I needed to know I gained great confidence in her business. I was so convinced by her breadth of knowledge I hired her company on the spot.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      Bingo! That's exactly what I'm saying, and it's another reason why I like to hire women over men if possible! haha

      Originally Posted by LastingLifeSuccess View Post

      Lately, I had need of a septic tank pumper and inspector. I called all five of the local businesses who had these services to offer.

      One of these business stood out head and shoulders above the rest. Why? Simply because the woman (owner-partner) was at ease teaching me all about what I might run up against with the problem I was being confronted with. She was patient, kind and knowledgeable.

      She was so thorough in teaching me what I needed to know I gained great confidence in her business. I was so convinced by her breadth of knowledge I hired her company on the spot.
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  • Profile picture of the author kevin Hislop
    Ermmmm... are you finished reading this thread? ... if you are then read it again

    As the OP said "P.S. This shit is golden so don't read it lightly!"

    I think many people believe that you can send an email and get a sale... this might happen. But if you can educate your prospect and they begin to know, like and TRUST you... then you will make more sales!

    Build a system so you can test, tweak and record performance, find out what your prospect wants and do your thing

    Keep up the good work peeps
    Kev
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