If I want to sell something, I should, well, sell it. Right?
 
Growing up in the technology marketing world, that’s what I was raised to believe. But what I’ve learned from research and experience is that instead of trying to sell, sell, sell to a bunch of anonymous “someones,” we need to connect with our audience from an authentic place. As it turns out, reaching out consistently on a human-being-to-human-being level builds more trusting relationships. And when we do that, even in a sea of competition, we can stand out and attract people who are more likely to buy.
 
Here’s some more of my thinking on this topic — and some tips on how to generate meaningful relationships that cultivate more sales.
 
Shift from Coaxing to Connecting
 
Every good sales person knows that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. To create content that engages our audience in this way, we need to shift from making sales pitches to creating human-being-to-human-being (HB2HB) connections.
 
Yes, you want to reduce bounce rates from your web site. Yes, you want to reduce “chuck” rates of printed collateral. Yes, you want to deepen loyalty.
 
The kicker is, you can do ALL that — AND cultivate sales — when you focus on relationships. What you need to do is shift your focus from coaxing to connecting. By doing that, you can stand out from your competition, engage your audience, and develop the level of loyalty that inevitably leads to sales.
 
How to Get Your Audience Engaged
 
The first thing to do is to look honestly at how you’re using your communications to try to sell, sell, sell. Then make a commitment to create content that focuses on how your solutions help change your audience’s world.
  1. Start with your Heroic Ideal. The Heroic Ideal is a basic tenant of my methodology, The HERO Method. It answers the all-important question, “How does our solution solve a problem in a unique way that makes our audience’s world a better place?"

  2. Prioritize your benefits. On a scale of 1 to 10, how does each benefit make your audience’s world a better place in terms of your Heroic Ideal? The benefits with the highest ratings are the ones that are most relevant to your audience; they’re the topics to talk about.

  3. Be generous. Invest in talking about those topics on your website, and in emails and webinars. Be generous in sharing “insider” information, other sources on the topic, and links to other websites.

  4. Write in a human tone. Now that you know the topics that are most helpful to your audience, don’t blow it by using an aloof, B2B “professional” tone. Instead, create content with a quality that seems more like a real conversation.
Using an authentic, human tone to talk about the topics your audience cares about will spark interest…develop relationships…and cultivate sales.
 
About the author: Kathryn Gillett, creator of The HERO Method, is committed to helping her clients generate more sales by creating deeper, HB2HB, connections. Don’t miss her WPC session on Tuesday, July 15th. Learn more about The HERO Method at www.TheHeroMethod.com or contact the author at Kathryn@TheHeroMethod.com.​