A door-to-door salesman stopped by the other day, selling educational books. You can’t purchase them online or even from a store, only through the salesman on your porch. He was nice and the books were impressive, but a decision had to be made right then and there. Our “no” came down to the fact that we just didn’t have enough information.
In a google-search driven world, a simple sales pitch will no longer suffice for closing the deal. Customers don’t want you to convince them that what you have to offer is the best, they want to learn for themselves. They want statistics and substantiated information that show them why your product or service is necessary for their lives, and why yours is the best.
Show Them Why They Need It
Educating your customer begins with showing them why they need the product or service you offer in the first place. They’re not going to just take your word for it. If Sally wants beautiful flowers in her landscaping, she can probably justify going to a big box store to buy them and doing it herself.
You have to educate her on why a landscaper is necessary. Show her how many DIY landscapers end up replacing plants in the first year because they have the wrong hardiness or don’t care for them correctly. Don’t just show her pictures of your own completed landscapes, but show her those same landscapes two, three, five years after completion. Substantiate your purpose.
Distinguish Yourself From Others
So you’ve made a believer out of her and she sees the appeal of a landscaper. But you don’t necessarily have the sale yet. Educate her on why your landscaping business is better than all of the others in your area. Have you received formal training or certifications? Do you have proper business documentation from municipalities and insurance? Do you have clients she can actually call to get feedback on your work (rather than reading reviews on your website that could be doctored for all she knows).
Make this information readily available to potential customers, whether on your website (such as your certification and business filings) or by noting that it’s available upon request. When your potential customer has the information available but has to make a slight effort to get it, that first shows their interest and also gives them the satisfaction of deciding for themselves, rather than being vulnerable to a sales pitch.
Yes, in the end, you’re still marketing and selling something, but when you give your potential customers the opportunity to feel like they’re educating themselves, they’re more confident in their decision to hire or buy from you.