Every business when you get right down to it is about sales. It doesn’t matter what industry, what type or size of business. When it comes right down to it, the core function of every business is to sell something – technical widgets, organic fruit, handcrafted soap, ultra-smart ideas…whatever.
In order to sell your technical organic handcrafted ultra-smart fruit widgets, you need to convince potential customers to buy them. Just as there are an infinite number of businesses, there are an infinite number of ways to sell their stuff.
One way is to invite people into your showroom where you showcase your products and a knowledgeable salesperson answers all their questions. Another is to network with other business people and simply tell them about your products and ask them to refer potential customers to you. Yet another is to share information about your products online.
Blogging for Business: How to Go from Click to Close
Let’s be clear about something upfront: the purpose of blogging isn’t to craft a sleazy sales pitch and post it online in hopes that you can lure some sucker into clicking buy and run off with the cash.
It’s to take your sales process and translate to the web – namely, the part where you share ideas, offer tips and advice and generally show your knowledge of your industry in order to build up the know, like, trust factor with your potential customers.
#1: Educate Potential Buyers – Often behind the list of features and benefits of any product, there is a premise, a business case for why you would even want to buy, for example, vitamins. So before buyers are interested in purchasing ANY type of vitamins, they need to understand the value proposition of vitamins period.
Blogging to educate potential buyers means convincing them that vitamins are indeed a good idea. You may want to cite third-party studies, health experts or generally accepted knowledge on the subject to build the case for vitamins.
#2: Share Tips on Best Use – Sometimes the reason buyers aren’t buying is they don’t know how to use your product so that they get the best value for it. Suppose for example, you are selling family vacation packages to Disneyland.
In this case, blogging helps potential buyers navigate the wide range of choices: where to stay, when is the best time to travel, what to do, what activities are available, how to get the best deal, etc. These tips help give potential buyers the confidence to both make an informed decision and likely ensures a more enjoyable experience.
#3: Showcase Your Knowledge – Other times buyers simply don’t appreciate how knowledgeable you are on a particular subject. This is where a blog can do the work of a one-on-one sales call where you impress your potential clients with helpful insights and demonstrate your expertise.
Blogging in this instance is about sharing those little gems without giving away too much knowledge. This is where expert articles are extremely helpful because you can mirror that client conversation in writing and reach more potential clients with the same effort.
#4: Sample the Goods – Sometimes the key to closing the sale is to let people take it for a test drive. While that isn’t always possible to replicate online, many clever companies have come very close to giving potential buyers the next best thing.
Ways to use a blog to “sample the goods” would be a virtual tour of a house for sale, a 360-degree view of a shoe with a video review by an expert (thank you Zappos), an excerpt from your latest book, a video of a speaker giving a keynote and so on.
What are the ways you use blogging to go from click to close? Share your ideas in the comments below!