Last time we talked about the mistakes that many of us have made either personally, or financially, by chasing the elusive SEO genie.

But there’s a much simpler solution to this, and it’s a solution that you and your team are more qualified to accomplish than any vendor could ever be.

Our customers ask a lot of questions about our products, services and how we handle things like installation, etc. But, as we discussed last time, they do so much more of their research BEFORE we get the chance to talk to them.

If you doubt that, think about it personally and ask some longer-term members of your sales team how much more “educated” today’s customer is versus even five years ago.

It’s not just because there’s so much more information available today, but even more so because they just want to be more prepared when they do talk to someone.

There are any number of reasons for this (have you ever heard stories about families that text each other while in the same house rather than getting up and walking over to talk?), but I think the number one reason may be a more generalized lack of trust in salespeople. They feel that if they are better prepared, they stand less of a chance of being bamboozled.

The great news is that success at answering potential customer questions not only can help us with the SEO thing, it can also earn us trust long before the customer chooses to give us a shot, as well as increasing the chances of us getting that shot in the first place.

How does that work?

Easier to be found in search results. Remember last time we talked about how one of the mistakes that many of us make is chasing after keywords that are too competitive and too hard to rank for? Using a method that is based on answering customers’ questions allows us to target long-tailed keywords. In essence, long-tailed keywords are less competitive and reflect more buyer intent.

Educating rather than selling earns trust. If you think about the best salesperson you ever dealt with, I’d bet they were great educators. Provide great education without trying to sell so much, and they’ll trust you enough to at least give you a shot.

Warm leads versus cold ones. Providing education-based answers to the questions that a customer has, without selling, sends a message that you are trying to help. Imagine the difference in a prospect who has been receiving high-quality, free information from you over a period of time as compared to one that found you in the Yellow Pages. Which one would you and your team rather be in front of?

There’s an old sales adage that I believe is more true today than ever. “People love to buy, but hate to be sold.” Answering their questions allows them to be in control of their own buying process and raises the chances that you’ll be included.

So, Joe, tell me the what’s, where’s and how’s. That’s where we’ll go next time.

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