Friday Fusion: May 15, 2020

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Every week, I write about web design, copywriting, and digital marketing for independent consultants and small firms. Friday Fusion is a collection of said writing from Quora, LinkedIn, and email conversations with consultants. You can follow me on Quora here, connect with me on LinkedIn here, and email me here.

How do I stop hating selling and sales?

Does this sound like you?

  • You’re introverted. You recharge when you’re alone.
  • You’d rather ask other people questions and listen rather than talk about yourself.
  • You feel like salesmanship is gross — but you would enjoy educating or teaching.

If so, you’re in luck. You don’t have to hate selling — you just have to sell in a different way.

First, if you hate selling and sales, your temperament isn’t suited for a full-time sales position. If you hate selling and sales, then you probably don’t like jobs where you’re always talking to people. You’re more interested in “things” than people. Don’t take a job where you have to sell.

But if you run your own business, you can’t avoid sales. No sales, no business. Unless you can hire someone to do sales for you, you must learn how to sell.

Here’s the key: you don’t have to sell by “talking.”

I’ve bought $2500 products without ever speaking to a salesperson.

It was the content surrounding the product that sold me — automated emails, blog posts, YouTube videos — not a salesperson.

Good content marketing and copywriting can sell your products and services for you. That way, you never have to get on the phone and sell it yourself.

At a certain price — my estimate is $3K+ — your prospects want to talk with you before buying. But anything below that price you can sell with words or videos. You can run a profitable business by letting your articles, emails, podcasts, and videos do all the selling for you.

Finally, it’s useful to reframe selling like this — aim to “serve, teach, and help” rather than “sell.”

People buy from people they know, like, and trust. Help people, and they’ll know you, like you, and trust you. Then, when you make an offer, it won’t feel like selling. You’ll find that people are happy to buy from you.

You’ll get the “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY” effect.

Do you have something valuable to offer to people?

Do your products or services solve problems, reduce pain, or help them reach their desired future?

Then aim to serve, teach, and help — and your prospects will want to be sold.

You’ll learn to enjoy selling and make more sales.

Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.

-Naval Ravikant

What will be an ideal inbound marketing strategy to attract B2B customers?

Content marketing is the ideal inbound marketing strategy to attract B2B customers.

Let’s start with a definition of “content marketing.”

a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.

And what makes an inbound marketing strategy ideal?

  • Content marketing forces you to write and clarify your thinking
  • Content marketing demonstrates your expertise
  • Content marketing provides value to your prospects and clients
  • Content marketing helps you get found through search
  • Content marketing is scalable: you can write an article and it will attract leads for you (so you don’t have to do it directly)

Content marketing helps you, your clients, and your business. You can’t say that about most marketing and sales strategies.

Want proof? This single article has generated over $500K in new business.

How?

Let’s work backward.

The Negotiator Guru is a consultant who provides Salesforce contract negotiation services.

So, he wants to win more Salesforce contract negotiation business.

How can he use content marketing to achieve this?

Let’s start with his prospective clients. What might they type into Google?

We can use a tool like Ahrefs to find out.

In fact, we can see exactly what queries the article is ranking for:

  • Salesforce discount
  • Salesforce discounts
  • Salesforce pricing discounts
  • Getting out of a salesforce contract

There is a low monthly search volume for these keywords — but they keyword difficulty (KD) is also very low. The article ranks on the first page for all of these keywords.

So, here are the steps that his prospective clients take:

  1. The prospective client searches for “salesforce discounts”
  2. They click on the “Understanding how Salesforce Negotiates” article
  3. They read the article and find it helpful
  4. A percentage of readers will want expert help — and contact The Negotiator Guru for his service

With content marketing, you can write an article and it will attract leads and clients for you around 24/7 — while you eat, sleep, and even while you’re working on other projects.

It solves the classic B2B challenge of balancing your marketing with your service delivery.

If you want to learn more about content marketing for B2B businesses, read this post on my website:

80/20 Content Marketing for Consultants


What are some simple ways to increase conversions on my website?

When you want to go try a new restaurant, how do you make your decision on whether you’ll go?

If you’re like 90% of people, you look for the restaurant’s reviews.

You’re looking at what other people say about the restaurant so you can make your decision.

This is a psychological principle known as Social Proof.

Since 95 percent of the people are imitators and only 5 percent initiators, people are persuaded more by the actions of others than by any proof we can offer.

-Robert Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

A simple way to increase conversions on your website is to show them social proof: reviews, testimonials, case studies, etc.

Want your prospect to click on your “BUY NOW” button?

Show them a review from a happy customer who’s bought your product or service:

I learned about the power of social proof for CRO (conversion rate optimization) while working at NiceJob (website pictured above).

Most websites quietly display a few reviews at the bottom of the homepage, if at all.

We flipped that practice on its head and made reviews the focal point of the website.

It worked so well we were able to GUARANTEE our website’s performance.

The moral of the story?

Do great work, ask for testimonials, and proudly display them on your website. It will make it far more effective.