As we enter 2014, business leaders of young startups in the technology space are huddled in conference rooms, trying to devise answers to three key questions:
- How can we hire superstars for our business?
- Where can we find additional funding?
- How can we get the word out about our company, without breaking the bank?
But perhaps the biggest question facing business leaders in 2014 is this: How can we close more deals and make our aggressive numbers?
I’d like to share a radical idea with you. Here’s what I’d like you to do: To sell more, stop selling!
While that may sound crazy, think about this: People love to buy, but they hate to be sold. By stopping your sales efforts, you are appealing to the “better angels of our nature.”
In addition, the famous marketing expert David Meerman Scott has a famous and very true saying: “No one cares about your products and services — except you.” (David was once fired for saying that line to his boss.)
Need proof of this? Think of the last time you visited friends and they raved about the accomplishments of their children. Chances are you were bored to tears.
Face it, your company “gave birth” to your products and services — they are just like children. You love them immensely, but no one else cares.
What can you do, other than selling?
When he was a guest on Marketing Made Simple TV, content marketing expert Jay Baer leaned in to the camera and said earnestly: “Jeff, do you know how to create content that goes viral? I sure don’t either. However, there is something I do know how to do. I know how to be helpful.”
That’s the key. Create content that answers buyers’ questions and helps them solve their business problems. For instance, an amusement park in Indiana posted information about every ride in the park. For a good article on this, read “Stop Selling, Start Helping: 5 Tips for Creating Magnetic Content” from the Marketo blog.
That’s what I urge you to do in 2014:
- Get to know your buyers a lot better.
- Learn their problems and concerns.
- Figure out how to help them improve business results.
- Craft content that educates and does not sell.
- Share your content everywhere — owned, paid and earned media.
What do you think? We love comments and those who share on social media too.
Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor, is an award-winning marketing and sales expert at the sales lead generation company Find New Customers. Creator and host of the popular and syndicated show, Marketing Made Simple TV, he interviews the best and brightest business leaders. Find Jeff at @fearlesscomp on Twitter, visit Marketing Made Simple TV on Facebook or connect with him on LinkedIn. Jeff is also a popular keynote speaker on marketing and social media.