Building Value by Helping Your Prospect For Free First, Selling to them Second
Let’s dive into one of the most talked about concepts on the internet. In fact one of the most talked about concepts in business. If I were to search through my posts I am pretty sure that the phrase would be included in 80 percent of the posts that I write. In the words of Rolf Harris “Do ya know what it is yet?” well you should do. It is building value!
Why is Building Value so Important?
Think about your own experience when browsing on the internet, you will probably find that you go online to find the answer to a question or to get more information on a certain topic. You might be interested in finding a new supplier, looking up an industry article or researching better working practices – it could be anything. But most of the time it relates to gathering information. And that leads me to the first principle of building value online:
People are surfing for information NOT to be sold to.
How many times have you walked into a shop with the distinct purpose to buy? Usually you walk in have a look around, feel the fabrics, think about what the item would look like in your living room, try to picture what you would look like in salmon pink skinny jeans. At that moment in time you are gathering information you are not ready to get your wallet out.
Now, when you walk into the store and as you do a sales clerk jumps on you and asks “can I help you?” You haven’t even got through the doors yet how do you know? We are not ready to get involved in a sales conversation. We would rather have a look around, find the thing we are interested in and maybe then start talking about it with a sales assistant.
This is similar to being online. Before asking for the sale you need to provide the potential client with extraordinary amounts of value. You need to make the client feel confident that you, your business is the best business to be partnering with. The way you do that is by offering them free information and free help. Isn’t that a better way of building a relationship rather than pushing people into a sale?
Give your potential client all the information and help they need at the beginning of the process rather than trying to crowbar it in later. The most successful online businesses practice this. The natural consequence of providing unpressurised help and support is that people will want to buy from you as you are not trying to coerce or manipulate them into a sale.
Help Your Prospect For Free First, Sell to them Second.
Facebook gives you for free a selection of online tools for you to keep in touch with all of your friends and family. A place to store all your photos, share your videos and meet new people. You don’t have to pay anything for the privilege.
Google gives you Search, Google Docs, Google Maps, Google +, Youtube all for free. Google HELPS You find information, run an office, get directions, network with business colleagues and friends, set up your own video channel. Does it bother me that Google tries to sell to me after it has provided a free service to me. No I am not bothered in the slightest.
Giving stuff away for free may seem nuts but there are some very powerful reasons why you should do this:
- It helps prospects overcome their problem and answer their questions
- It demonstrates your skills and proves your value upfront before you invoice them
- It establishes your relationship on a sound footing from the beginning.
- It reassures the recipient of your credibility.
As human beings we want to deal with people that we trust people who we have already established a relationship with. Whenever we start a new business relationship there is always a level of hesitancy as all parties try to understand each other, their value, and the task at hand. By providing information that locks that understanding, you demonstrate to your prospect your skill, helpfulness and ultimately your value.
Building value online is not about convincing people that they want to use your experience. It is not about trying to crowbar a sale. All you are doing is helping the prospect make the best buying decision they can by giving the best information.
People are surfing the web because they are looking for information, not because they want to be sold to!