Synopsis of Marcus Sheridan’s business bestseller: They Ask You Answer.
If you’re looking for a source of high-quality sales leads from your website, which cost relatively little to produce (with a high ROI) and work hard well into the long-term, read on.
The top principle governing how you communicate as a business: be helpful and useful.
Your mindset needs to be that you’re a teacher. You need to think of you (your team, your company, your organisation) as being the best teacher in what you do.
That’s the heart of Marcus Sheridan’s business bestseller: They Ask You Answer.
Spoiler alert: if you want the quick and dirty short-cut, go to ‘Answerthepublic.com,’ put in what you do and see a spider-gram of all the questions your prospects may be asking.
To do this properly, read the book.
But here’s a few pointers guiding how we’d get it working for you:
Think of any sizeable and considered purchase that involved someone helping you along the way. Even if you bought nothing from them, you’ve probably told people how helpful they were in the process, and they’re now in your mind as being ‘helpful, friendly, trustworthy, someone I’d consult again.’ Helping a prospective customer triggers them to feel in your debt – they need to reciprocate ie: ‘you gave me something, I’d like to give you something… like an order.’
2. Candour builds trust
Get your website giving straight answers. Don’t duck the tricky questions. Be open and honest because that’s what wins you friends. You want business friends, not just prospects. Friends endure. Prospects come and go.
3. Get off the fence
Say what you mean. Picture your perfect prospect. Write with them in mind, so what you say in your blogs, video, website, etc resonates with them. If you try to speak to everyone, you’ll speak to no one. Will you turn-off some buyers? Yes, you may. But in the long-term? You’re in the business of building fierce loyalty.
4. The big five questions
How much: costs, prices, options.
- The negatives: problems, issues, drawbacks, what can go wrong?
- Comparisons – what are my alternatives?
- Reviews – unbiased views on what it’s like, the good and the bad.
- The ‘best,’ the ‘top’ – benchmark the best and take it from there.
You need to get comfortable sharing your ‘line’ on the above five issues.
5. Get great at video
Video makes it easy for your prospect to see how it works. Remember if ‘a picture paints 1,000 words,’ then ‘1 minute of video paints 1 million words.’ Show them what you mean.
6. Get slick online
Remember 70-80% of a buying decision is done BEFORE your prospective customer contacts you. Your website does the heavy lifting of their research and relationship building. Ensure it accurately reflects you.
7. Integrate prospects’ questions with your sales
Whenever a prospect asks you a question, ensure it’s answered on your website. Send links to those web pages to your prospects. Be helpful. This needs your frontline people owning the process of identifying every question a customer may have, then you answering those questions on your digital shop window – your website. You may have an in-house journalist who will lap this up or let us show you how.
8. Get CRM working for you
For example, Popcorn, Zoho, HubSpot… whichever system you choose, get it working for you. Keep testing what’s working and what’s not. Focus and trim your budget accordingly. As Jim Collins says, ‘first fire bullets and then fire cannonballs’, ie get things working on a small budget at first and then put some serious budget behind the ideas you can see working.
While you do all of the above, keep in your mind’s eye, you want to become the prospect’s most trusted friend.
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