By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite
Although many marketing guru's might spout that ROI and target audience are the main focus in your business strategy - educating your customer should be your centerpiece. Educating your client is one of the best ways to increase sales and turn a one time sale into a long lasting loyal customer. Many times, when people are considering buying a product - they know little about it which makes them less likely to buy on impulse. They don't know if the price is realistic, if the product is reliable, if the quality is an industry standard - this kind of uncertainty makes a customer feel uncomfortable about the purchase.
• Be a Teacher of Your Business
Sales and teaching go hand in hand. A teacher in a classroom wants you to learn the material to be able to pass the test (for example). A salesperson (or business owner) wants you to learn about the product to see why this purchase is ideal. So if a customer is interested in a product or service and someone takes the time with them to show them the features and how they compare to other similar items - a customer will begin to feel more confident in their decision to purchase. The more the information is balanced and informational (rather than just a 'sales pitch') the more likely you earn their trust and loyalty. Guess who they will come to for information in the future? You, their expert!
• Educate About Your Product or Service This is a no-brainer! Make sure your customers know about what you offer and how you can solve their problems. Often, missed sales occur when a customer doesn't know or understand your product or service.
• Educate About Your Business
This is one aspect that often gets overlooked in marketing but can be just as important as educating your customer about your product or service. The relationship your customers have with you and your business is emotional.
Customers often ask themselves...
• Do I trust this business?
• Is the staff knowledgable?
• Does the company stand behind their product with a warranty?
• Is this company the best place to get this service?
If you're still unsure about how important this aspect of marketing is then consider this: If you are looking at two identical products at the same price - who do you go with? Have you ever paid more money for a product or service because you like the company or owner. Everyday, people choose to pay more or shop exclusively with brands because they like the company as well as the product (examples: Macy's, Nike, Pepsi, Budweiser and Apple). If it works for them - it can work for you too!
It is often said that knowledge is power - think of educating your customer as a marketing strategy that empowers your customer. The more they know, the more power they have to make a decision and buy...as well as share what a helpful expert you are!