In the vast majority of situations, prospective buyers need some education before they decide to buy from you.
In certain industries, they need educating into why they need your product or service at all. For example, Independent Financial Advisors often pitch the benefits of using their services but don’t educate the prospect about why they need an IFA rather than just using their bank. The same is true for many services and products ranging from vitamins and nutrition through HR and legal advisors to marketing and copywriting.
You need to educate your prospects into why they need the service or product you offer before they can take the step of choosing a supplier, i.e. you.
Another important part of the education process is to make it very clear that your service or product is something that will solve their problems. We are currently going through a D.I.Y. and low cost solution period. Many people will try and do it themselves or use an amateur to do it in an effort to save money. These types of solution almost invariably end up making the problem worse.
I’ve met various companies who have had their next-door neighbour’s teenager put together their web site. In the majority of cases, the web sites look very amateur which reflects badly on the company.
This, in my view, is madness. People often visit your web site before dealing with you and it could easily be losing you customers. You can get a professionally designed web site which looks the part for about £500 so why would anyone risk their business
Education is also vital for differentiation. A recent example comes from a copywriter I was introduced to. He was a low-cost supplier and he showed me some of his work. I could not differentiate between his work and what an untrained person would have produced. As a professional copywriter, I could see what was lacking but someone unfamiliar with it would not have. By educating people in your skills, they can better judge the quality of it and choose accordingly.
This is vital. If a person cannot differentiate between you and low cost suppliers or what they could produce themselves, then they will assume you are cheap.
Even worse, if they are unfamiliar with your profession then they may think that industry rates are a lot lower than they actually are.
This happens in every profession. Sometimes due to not knowing the industry, sometimes due to confusing a one-off bargain with the regular price and a lot of the time because they don’t understand what skill and expertise they are paying for.
If you educate your clients properly then they can understand and appreciate what they are spending their money on and will be more happy and confident in doing so.