Whether you’re B2B or B2C, in managed IT services, managed print services, or any industry at all… all companies market themselves “different.” But the real challenge lies in showing it, not just saying it. By being honest and transparent on your website, you can build more trust with buyers and, in turn, more business. Today’s buyer has changed… now, what can you do about it?
Picture: Marcus Sheridan (The Sales Lion) presents at GreatAmerica Financial Services in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (September 2018).
Before you make a big purchasing decision (or maybe any buying decision), ask yourself, what is the first thing you do? My guess is you probably go search it online.
Marcus Sheridan says there are five topics buyers *really* care about (and search) the most:
As a buyer, when you can’t find the “Big 5” information immediately online, it becomes frustrating. This can lead to you losing trust. If information can’t be found, buyers may make the assumption that the seller is hiding something. We only have a few short seconds before a buyer moves on in search of someone who will answer their question.
The first seller to provide the information you’re seeking will usually get the first conversation.
Think about providing the type of information customers are searching for on your website to avoid the chance they will go to your competitor for that same information. Customer’s will ultimately buy from a seller who they trust.
Now ask yourself, in your sales or buyer process, do you answer “the Big 5” questions upfront on your website?
If you answered yes to the above question, keep up the good work, you’re ahead of the majority! Making this information readily available for buyers allows them to do something pretty cool. It enables buyers to self-qualify and self-educate themselves which will advance your sales conversations and build more trust.
Picture: Marcus challenges the audience on why marketing is not a cost center, but generates revenue towards the bottom line.
Marcus says that 70% of the buying process happens online - prior to a prospect talking to a sales representative! Adding the “Big 5” to your company website can shorten your reps’ sales process because in theory, a buyer is already 70% down the buying funnel and a sales rep is now only responsible for the final 30% (much less than prior non-digital models). Sales reps should have better conversations with a buyer who is actively engaged.
“As you’re putting content on your website, ask yourself how and where it can be immediately implemented into your sales process. Kill objections before they happen by being transparent, upfront, open and honest!” – Marcus Sheridan
As a consumer, we want to do business with those we trust. Those who are transparent and honest will win more business. We should be no different in the way we market to customers in our businesses. Marcus’s most recent book, “They Ask. You Answer.” goes in depth with case studies and examples of how you can implement a sales and marketing strategy that includes using transparency to build trust for your customers. As you enhance your website, keep it customer-focused by being transparent and providing answers to the questions they seek.
Slide: Courtesy of Marcus Sheridan (The Sales Lion).
As a Master MSP and trusted technology advisor, we work hard to provide information to the IT channel through our website and managed IT blog to help MSPs achieve greater success. We have only just gotten started and this will always be a work in progress, but we have seen some great impact after updating our website and mindset with Marcus’s philosophy about transparency to build more trust!
“You already answered all my questions online!”
“Your website provided everything we needed to determine if we were a good fit!”
“Your website stood out amongst the rest thanks to the plethora of content you provided.”
Collabrance team members read Marcus’s book and worked on ways we could enhance a buyer’s digital experience online. We embraced his philosophy and worked together to find ways and places we could be more transparent with buyers. This included posting more videos, providing more testimonials and case studies, and yes, even including pricing. We will continue to actively update our website to best accommodate what customers need and to build more trust.
The first time I saw Marcus Sheridan speak was at Social Media Marketing World where he inspired me to think about marketing differently. He has influenced our sales and marketing strategy ever since. It was exciting to host him at our headquarters in Cedar Rapids last week, where we were able to hear him speak again and further spread his philosophy of building trust with transparency.
Marcus, thank you for reminding us to just be honest and transparent in our businesses. It is always a pleasure to work with companies who are also customer focused, upfront and who we can trust!Marcus is engaging, direct and down to earth. His energy is contagious and his message resonates easily based on the questions he challenges the group with. If you ever get the chance to hear Marcus speak, he comes highly recommended! He has a great message of how we can best answer the questions our customers seek for a win-win situation.
Brittney Stepanek, Strategic Marketing Director for Collabrance, is responsible for helping build relationships and brand awareness through strategic marketing initiatives. Before working at Collabrance, Brittney joined GreatAmerica in 2012 doing marketing for the Office Equipment Group. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of Iowa.