Some of the most fun (and rewarding) parts of my job are telling clients which to-do list items they can strike forever, what business models they don’t have to use to make more money and which things may be true for other entrepreneurs but don’t have to be true for them. In other words, I love busting their preconceived notions of what’s important and what’s necessary to grow their businesses.
I bet you can imagine the amount of relief those clients feel.
It’s no wonder they have so many misconceptions. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. In fact, there’s a lot of conflicting information in every industry. That information leads to assumptions and those assumptions lead to your prospective customers getting fewer of the good results you know they’re capable of.
Those assumptions and misconceptions can seem like barriers to making sales. When people have bad information, it can be harder to convince them that what you’re offering is any good.
The good news is that content marketing and social media are the perfect ways to dispel these misconceptions, offer up your insight and make your voice heard. And when you do that at the beginning of the sales or marketing process, you build trust with your best prospects, which makes them more likely to buy.
Matt Dixon, director at Corporate Executive Board, calls this “insight sales.” He explained to Harvard Business Review, "the idea is how do we engage [prospects] even earlier to inform their view of their world, teach them about opportunities and problems out there, and then teach them why they need to buy from us is the solution to those problems and opportunities.”
Every misconception, every bad assumption is an opportunity to create a relationship that builds trust and hope. Ask yourself:
- What do my prospects believe about their problem that’s holding them back from finding the solution?
- What bad information is floating around in my industry?
- What assumptions do my prospects have about the solution to their frustration?
Take your answers and look for interesting conversation starters. You’ll likely now have a bunch.
Here’s an example, in a recent program launch, Dr. Samantha identified that her prospects suffered from the misconception of believing that feeling better was feeling “good enough.” Her prospects assumed that identifying and treating symptoms, the way traditional medicine does, was their ticket to not feeling so crappy.
As a naturopathic physician, she challenged them to strive for feeling completely well, something that can only be achieved by identifying the root causes of a problem and fixing those root causes.
Through content marketing, Dr. Samantha stated the misconception, pulled it apart and showed her audience what else was possible. Just as Dixon said, she gave them another way to see their world and identified a huge opportunity: the chance to feel truly well. Later, she offered a paid solution that would help her prospects do exactly that.
When you bust a misconception, you and your content get attention. It gets people talking. And most importantly, it gets people feeling and thinking. It’s not information overload — it’s a breath of fresh air.
Identify the misconceptions and assumptions your customers suffer from and change their worlds by giving them a different perspective. Use your blog, email marketing, sales conversations or presentations to give them a picture of something different. They’ll be much more open to your pitch when the time comes.
Tara Gentile is a member of the DailyWorth Experts program. Read more about the program here.