It’s time for companies to challenge their perceptions of what guided selling can provide across their entire series of selling strategies. No longer relegated to an automation assistant or some sort of digital automaton or robot, guided selling can be used to teach customers too. Get beyond looking at guided selling as a virtual sales robot and instead see it as a strategy to educate customers. Any selling process can be automated, perfected only so far until the critical integration they require to building relationships with customers take over.
From Automating to Teaching
Using guided selling as a means to tailor your company’s knowledge to the specific unmet needs of any prospect, customer or for that matter anyone who can benefit from your company’s knowledge base is infinitely more important. Using guided selling as the front-end interface for your knowledgebase may not immediately generate leads, but it does do something even more critical. It positions your company as one that values sharing knowledge – openly – like the best professors who have ever known. With that you’ll earn credibility, trust and the opportunity to compete for their business by delivering solutions.
All of us can point back in our past and recite those teachers and professors who took an exceptional interest in our success. They were known for their passion for knowledge and for freely sharing it. My sixth grade social studies teacher showed how research could unshackle you and take you places you could never go as an 11 year old, yet you could go to the farthest reaches of the globe through research. There was a statistics professor in college who showed how what many students see as arcane and dry science was actually fascinating and alive with insights just waiting to be discovered when applied to mountains of data. These teachers were on a mission, and they succeed.
- While guided selling applications can’t match the impact these committed teachers had on so many lives, their worth ethic and values need to be the foundation of how your company uses guided selling.
- Enriching others with knowledge and showing thought leadership, and earning trust over the long-term is more important than just using guided selling to sell commodity-like products. Websites and for that matter guided selling cannot be treated exclusively as lead generation tool – it is a trust generation tool for sharing knowledge.
- It is about becoming relevant as a learning partner with your customers first and being able to step in and solve their problems when they need your help.
Bottom line: Use guided selling to enrich others if you want to be enriched with trust and earn the opportunity to compete for business in the future. Don’t just concentrate on automating transactions; enrich prospects and customers to earn the right to compete for their business.