Content Marketing: Sell Solutions, Not Stuff

by Andrew Schulkind

If you’re selling stuff, you’re selling yourself short.

Stop sending emails and social media posts saying, “If you’re struggling with X, we can help.” Your prospects get that same email ten times a day from you and all of your competitors. They didn’t believe the first one, and the won’t believe the last.

Instead, focus on what actually happens – the magic – between the struggle they’re experiencing and the success you’re promising. Do this by talking about one step in the process that allows you to guarantee success. If you can paint that picture, you’ll have people’s attention.

Of course, the trick is to paint that picture in sufficient detail to grab their attention, but not so much that they aren’t intrigued to learn more – and you certainly don’t want to give away your secret sauce.

Talk to your sales team about the things that your prospects find most compelling about your product or service. That’s where your marketing should be focused. For example, when we talk to prospects about building new websites, many of them are most interested in two things: coding and design.

“Can we see examples of your work?” they ask, wanting to get a sense of whether we can deliver a professional looking site. And they ask about features and functionality, and invariably, whether we’ve done sites for similar firms in their industry.

Rarely do they ask about our process, which is pretty fascinating since, when you think about it, having solid graphic design and coding capabilities should be considered the basic point of entry by any prospect with anything other than a bare-bones budget.

When we do begin to talk about our process –with our focus on stakeholder input, competitive research, and an understanding of their broad sales and marketing goals – prospects’ eyes typically light up. That’s when they get what is different about Andigo and what makes us worth our price. (Whether we’re a good fit for their needs is another part of the conversation, of course, but we’ve at least gotten their attention and presented a key differentiator.)

So find the things in your prospect conversations that make their eyes light up, and build your marketing around that. Forget the stuff you’re selling and focus on the ideas underneath that stuff.