Want to help your customers? Stop selling to them.

Sounds strange?

Let me ask you this. When you walk into a shop, and a salesperson approaches, do you start to cringe? Don’t worry; this does not make you a bad person. Yours is a perfectly normal reaction.

If you’re wondering why you have this reaction, it’s because you aren’t ready to be helped yet. You didn’t ask for it and nor did you signal you needed it. And just like that, a perfect stress-free shopping experience became stressful.

Buying behaviour has changed. It’s time marketing evolved to keep up. This is especially relevant in the digital age we’re in. Before we dine at a new restaurant, we google the menu and reviews. When we’re unwell, we consult Dr Google about our symptoms first.

According to Hubspot the company that pretty much wrote the book on Inbound marketing is an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful — not interruptive.

With Inbound you do not have to fight for potential customers attention. They find you, unlike traditional marketing where you’re constantly chasing them. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? And it is.

Inbound focuses on creating meaningful, contextual content that addresses the needs and pain points of your ideal customers. By helping them by giving them the answers they seek rather than selling to them, you are building trust and credibility for your business. Inbound means putting your customer’s needs before your own.

So how does this work? Here’s an illustrative example. Someone, let’s call him Mr Sharma searches “what to look out for when buying new furniture online,” you know he is 1) researching ways to buy new furniture and 2) he’s not quite ready to make a purchase yet.

If you’ve written a post offering “The Furniture Barn’s Guide to Buying Furniture Online” both solves their problem and ensures they remember you as that helpful furniture company that had all the useful tips on their blog. When they’re ready to buy where do you think they’ll go first?

You simply cannot lose by providing your customers with free, helpful resources. And you have at your disposal a wealth of channels and tools. More on this in later posts.

In our next post, we’ll cover the advantages Inbound marketing has over outbound. Stay tuned.

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