The reason your sales prospects love all the free, helpful content marketing you create is because they end up using it against you. Self-educating buyers are using Google Searches and your (and your competitors’) digital content marketing efforts to do their homework. And they think they know what they need to know in order to hold a balanced discussion with you or a member of your sales team. But they’re usually wrong.
Turning The Tables On Sales Prospects
The self-educated buyer has a huge blind spot. Put simply – the self-educated buyer doesn’t know what they don’t know. The false sense of knowledge created by self-education blinds them to a simple fact: they do not always know every question to ask or every scenario to consider. This creates a unique opportunity for you and your sales team to leverage the information gap to create doubt in the mind of the self-educated buyer. And doubt is your friend. This is where Aikido Selling, a simple three-step social selling process, leverages the buyer’s blind spot to rebalance the selling process in your favor.
The Aikido Selling Process Explained
First – Prospect Triage
Once a prospect has been identified, use their preferred medium to understand what they know. If you can, try to determine how or where they obtained their knowledge. Often buyers’ research uncovers mistaken or outdated information that can hurt your chances of winning the sale. It’s important that you know this and take corrective action to correctly reframe their research data before you begin sharing new information.
Second – Find The Blind Spot
Once you’ve established what the buyer does and does not know and corrected misinformation, identify the missing information they need to make the right educated buying decision – buying from you. Once you’ve determined which questions they failed to ask and/or research, you can highlight any relevant product or service features they may have missed.
Third – Complete Their Education
Whatever you do, don’t appear argumentative. This is the antithesis of Aikido Selling because it aligns you and the buyer as opposing forces. Instead, approach this step as a caring educator that seeks to enlighten and help the student. Don’t sell. Teach. The goal of the Aikido sale is to let the buyer sell themselves. They want to sell themselves. That’s why they self-educated in the first place. It’s imperative that you and your sales teams understand this psychological underpinning and then leverage it every time you encounter a self-educating prospect.
Learn More About Aikido Selling
Hopefully this article has set you on the right track. But if you’d like to learn more about marketing and selling to self-educated buyers, feel free to go grab a copy of my new book, The Invisible Sale, where I dive much deeper into the topic and discuss actionable strategies to help your company adapt to today’s content marketing driven sales lead and close process.
Or check out our Social Selling Workshop, where we teach you how to apply Aikido Techniques to improve your closing rates.