The problem with building a better mousetrap is it only makes sense (and therefore, has value) to those with mouse problems, or to those who recognize that they indeed have a mouse problem. To everyone else, it’s just a weird contraption that costs money – a do-nothing machine, so to speak.
That’s the trouble with building a better anything – that’s just the beginning. The actual work is convincing the general public that they need it. Easy if your widget is already considered a basic necessity, but a little more challenging if it’s something new or not fully understood.
Building the Case: The Marketing That Comes BEFORE the Marketing
Think of it as the marketing that comes BEFORE the marketing. Before you can talk about how your widget does its magic better than all the other widgets out there or how its quality is unsurpassed such that it’s the last widget you will ever need to buy, you need to educate your customers on exactly why they need a widget at all.
You need them to buy into the premise that your widget is based on, recognize the problem your widget solves or desire the value proposition your widget offers. Without that key information, your widget doesn’t make sense at all. It’s just another thing that is going to cost them money and clutter up their lives.
This is where good salespeople are worth every dime you pay them. They can answer those potential questions, explain the background of why people need it and show potential buyers how they have the exact problem the widget solves. In essence, they fill in the knowledge gaps.
But what about those instances where your potential buyers never stand in front of your salespeople? What about the potential buyers who don’t even know to seek out your particular solution? How do you capture their attention and get them to buy into your premise?
4 Ways to Educate Your Potential Buyers on the WHY
Start with the Media – The reason earned media is so valuable is it offers buyers unbiased facts. The key is not to sell the media on your particular widget, but to educate them on the facts, the premise for why your widget is so important. That way the media is doing the work for you by convincing the public that they need to find a solution to a new problem.
Blog the Basics – Treat your web site as a virtual showroom where potential buyers can learn more about your widget. Make sure you share both the nitty-gritty details of your widget AND the basic background behind why your widget is so important. This is where statistics and scientific facts are important because they provide the background support for all your fancy features and benefits.
Share with your Network – Arm your business network with the facts that support widget buying. Instead of making it your job to sell people on your widget by repeating the features and benefits over and over ad nauseum, think of your job as educating people on why they need to consider a widget at all. Help them help you by educating them on how to educate your potential buyers.
Educate Current Customers – People love to know they have made a wise decision. Use this opportunity to turn happy customers into widget evangelists by sharing with them exactly why it was such a good choice. Chances are they only know part of the story behind the why. Give them the complete picture and let them do the rest in sharing your why!
So the next time you are thinking to yourself, “Stupid buyers just don’t get it!”, remember that it’s your job to fill in their knowledge gaps and make them smarter shoppers.