When it comes to sales, content is key, and in many cases, quality content can even do the work of an actual salesperson, building trust and persuading customers to make purchases. Here Shweiki Media teams up with Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion to present a webinar on how to create good content and use it to sell more efficiently.
70% and the Zero Moment of Truth
The zero moment of truth is the first time somebody calls the company, walks into the store, fills out a form on the website, etc. Basically, it is when the customer trusts the business enough to willingly give them their information and make contact. Seventy percent of the buying decision is made before the zero moment of truth, which means that the customer has already made up most of their mind about the product before they even talk to the company. This means that businesses need to use the Internet better to sell their product.
“How many pages of your website would a potential client or customer be willing to read?”
When asked this question, most companies will say, on average, about two to three pages—which typically takes about five minutes. However, what if the question was flipped: “Does doing business with you take five minutes of a customer’s precious time?” In this case, a business would respond differently because, of course, a customer spends more than five minutes with them. Businesses have been grossly underestimating the willingness of consumers to consume content and how many pages they are willing to read in order to be comfortable with the buying decision.
Let’s take a look at Sheridan’s pool business, for example. In the beginning of 2012, he was looking at two types of people on my website: the people who filled out a form and bought a pool and the people who filled out a form and did not buy a pool. When comparing the two groups, the number 30 popped out for the group who bought a pool. That number represented the total number of pages viewed. This led to the conclusion that if someone read 30 or more pages of the website before the initial sales appointment, they would buy 80% of the time. At the time, the average closing rate of appointments was 20%, so this was a dramatic increase in sales that was being purely driven by content. Trust was being built over the course of these 30 pages through education, and trust leads to sales.
Originally, someone would call for a quote on a swimming pool, and Sheridan would go out to their house and give them a quote–nothing more and nothing less. However, after learning how much the power of content has over the consumer before the zero moment of truth, it was evident that assignment selling is a much better option.
Here is an example of a brief spiel one may have with a potential customer:
“Sure, I would love to come to your house and give a quote on a swimming pool for you, but this is a huge decision. You’re going to be spending a lot of money, and you don’t want to make a mistake. Therefore, to ensure that no mistakes are made, I’m going to make sure you are well educated by sending you a couple of things in an email while we talk right now. The first thing I’m going to send is a link to video that shows the entire process of having a swimming pool installed in your backyard. The next thing will be an attached ebook or guide that addresses all your questions about swimming pools. Now, this ebook is about 30 pages, but I promise it’s worth the time. Please make sure to review these things before our appointment on Friday.”
Sales and the Trust-Building Tool
Content, assuming it’s honest and transparent, is the greatest sales and trust-building tool in the world. It’s better than any salesperson, because content does not sleep, take breaks, or ask for commission. All content does for a business is work for it. Content needs to be done the right and honest way. If a business discusses about the things that prospects and customers want to talk about, then they can increase their sales exponentially.
These are the average statistics for river pools in 2013 and then compared to 2007’s numbers:
It’s important for businesses to stop underestimating the willingness of consumers to become more informed, educated and comfortable with the buying decision. One should give consumers the information, use it in the sales process, and put it in the hands of salespeople, because that can change everything.
For more information, please feel free to contact Marcus Sheridan at [email protected]