Greg Simpson, founder of Press for Attention PR and Enterprise Nation Champion for Nottingham, provides some great advice.
It’s funny, a lot of businesses and sales people say they listen to their customers and I’m sure many do, BUT do they actually then answer their queries?
I mean properly. There is a huge difference between listening and then pitching your message compared with listening and then actively answering a specific question.
I mention this because this philosophy is the foundation of a fantastic book I have been recommending to clients called “They Ask, You Answer”. In short, it alters your marketing mindset from pushing sales messages to simply answering questions that your prospects need and want to know.
Right now, if you wanted to know how to write a press release you would simply Google it. Or you might be concerned about how to handle a PR crisis, again, you would Google it.
Then you might find someone like me who can help you with that.
This approach forms the basis of my marketing and positioning for years and ultimately, it comes down to being useful.
However, on chatting with many people over the last quarter as I have waxed lyrical about this book, there is reticence to try this. It seems that people are scared that if they answer the question that customers ask, the lead might decide they are not for them.
Well, newsflash folks, if you answer honestly and the lead is not a good fit then you haven’t lost anything at all. You are actually being far more focused. I could use this tactic to openly talk about how PR services are procured.
Do I need a contract?
How much does PR support cost?
How do you measure the ROI of a PR campaign?
Am I ready to start a PR campaign?
The list goes on. Now, if in answering these questions my responses aren’t what the prospect was hoping to hear, I have saved them and me a lot of time. However, if they are, I have leapfrogged ahead of the noise and am already gaining trust, not to mention credibility.
Have a think about the recurring questions you receive from your prospects and start answering them BEFORE they meet you. It takes a bit of bravery, but it is worth it if you want to demonstrate credibility and improve your conversion rate.
Here’s to being useful.