Led by renowned speaker and business expert Marcus Sheridan, the 2021 ProSource keynote had everyone learning how to transform their business with simple but practical steps. According to Sheridan, today’s consumer is more educated than ever before and is 80 percent through the buyer’s journey before arriving at a website. To make them stay and decide to give you money, you have to be the most trusted voice in your space. 

If you want to become that voice of trust:
– You must be willing to talk about what others do not in your space.
– You must be willing to show what  others do not in your space.
– You must be willing to sell in a way others won’t sell in your space.
– You must avoid “ostrich marketing.”

Ostrich marketing is where the seller avoids potentially problematic questions at all costs, unless the client brings it up. They do not address the downfalls of certain products, what the cost or timeframe might be, any issues the supply chain might cause and what the competition might offer. Instead, Sheridan suggests that being upfront about all of these issues will put you ahead of the competition.

What Buyers Really Care About

COST: Would you eat dinner at a restaurant where the menu items have no price? When a buyer cannot find a price on a website, they tend to be hesitant. They are trying to make a decision, so they often will keep searching until they find someone willing to spell it out for them.

The price of integration is nearly impossible to state out front, but you as a business owner can lay out what will affect the price. What factors could drive the cost of the service up or down? Do you have a good sense of what your competitors charge? If so, your competitors probably know what you charge is well. Don’t let your client hear from them first on who offers the better deal.

“If you don’t educate the market, they will go with the lowest number they see,” said Sheridan. “Ignorance in the marketplace is what monetizes. When everyone thinks everything is the same, they choose the cheapest.”

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS: There’s always an elephant in the room that the client keeps wondering about. What about security? What if the power goes out, and what happens when more advanced tech is established? Addressing these questions up front, even if the answers are difficult, can be the key to winning your client’s trust.

COMPARISONS: Your potential client is definitely comparing and contrasting different products, companies and techniques and the internet is probably not making it easy for them. Most articles out there are biased towards whatever product they are promoting; instead, try forming an unbiased article and let the consumer make their own decision. 

REVIEWS: Here is an extra out-of-the-box idea: what happens if you put together a list of your competitors in a factual, non-judgmental way? The fear might be that a consumer will look at that list and learn about your competitors, but if they are reading the article, they are already on your website. 

Sheridan said that while these methods are gutsy, they have been proven to work. Consumers appreciate a company that is willing to take risks to offer them the best service; honesty will win them over in the end. 

“Be willing to address their fears and see yourself as the teachers,” said Sheridan. “Become the Wikipedia of your space.”