Buyers are avoiding sales people in the early stages of the buying process because they are avoiding pushy-pushy-selly-selly-pitchy-pitchy-always-be-closing behaviors. But if sellers demonstrate that they have information, insights, resources, and networks — that is, real value to add — it’s like a magnet attracting buyers to the sales professional.
So if you don’t want buyers to be allergic to you, then leverage content, create engagement, and share meaningful insights. Demonstrate value early.
Share content that the buyer perceives as possessing the four qualities she is seeking.
If you understand your buyer, you can anticipate her learning curve. You can understand her needs, motivations, concerns, and potential confusion.
If you recognize that the last thing she wants is a sales pitch, you can use content to create safe, nonintrusive ways to help her up the learning curve — long before she ever talks to anyone at your firm.
Now let’s take this a step further. If the modern B2B buyer wants to spend most of her buying process interacting with expert, empathetic, clear, and trustworthy sources, is it in your interest to have a public profile that makes you look like a quota-crushing sales genius?
Experts demonstrate expertise by sharing defendable, relevant, and insightful content.
By interacting online in a highly responsive and perceptive manner, you can show how empathetic you are. Use content as the currency to start a conversation, rather than to push your POV.
To be clear, you need to drop the hype and focus on the facts. Share them at every possible opportunity, and do your best to simplify — but not dumb down — complex challenges.
Finally, accept that the modern B2B buyer wants to buy, not be sold. In doing so, you can morph in her mind from a self-interested, overly aggressive spin merchant, to a trustworthy advisor or information concierge who is there to help when she needs help.
By the way, people don’t trust content from branded profiles — i.e., your company’s LinkedIn page — as much as they do from actual individual human beings. You gotta do this yourself.
Help your buyer solve her business challenges and reach her personal goals. Help your buyer buy. Use content to connect with her long before she is ready to deal with anything that reeks of a sales pitch.
Content equals currency.