What are some of the annoying things you commonly hear about infomercials? They’re deceptive? Sales pitch-ey? Shamelessly promotional? Rigged even?
Well at the heart of all those offenses is the idea that they’re too focused on the product and less on the people who’ll be using them.
It just goes to show how central of role your customers have when you’re qualifying your B2B leads. It’s not just about how many people actually took the product in all its glorious face value. It’s about showing that they have the capacity to create that value for themselves.
Take cyber-security for instance. You can offer the most sophisticated firewalls and top-of-the line anti-virus suites. Would that matter if someone just put a gun to your prospect’s head and ask for their all-access password?
But you know, do you really need an action-thriller to tell you that product training is just as highly prioritized as product selling? When it comes to any B2B commodity or service, it’s not enough to give customers a manual. You have to keep talking and keep working together. In other words, you put the customer at the center of your attention, not just the product.
At this point, some might object to sharing so much information before the sale. It’s true that you shouldn’t give away everything in a white paper but information itself can be quite the handful:
- Prospects will take time to learn – The training will take time but more importantly, it’s the sort of time that requires actual product purchase in order for them to really apply it. That’s why you shouldn’t worry too much about giving away information as you would your core product.
- Information is heavy – It’s like learning how to both make a hammer and use a hammer. The lessons for both will take up time whereas just buying the hammer won’t be as heavy. It’s doubtful that most prospects are willing to risk spending more time building infrastructures versus running them.
- Competition can be fierce –Competitors go both ways. Your prospects have rival organizations they want to overtake too. Time and money create only such a large window before they’re left behind by all of them. This need to keep up can not only drive prospects into your pipeline but also prevent them from expending too much getting stuff for ‘free.’
A strategy for effective training puts customer interests at heart of the main objectives, not just selling the product. You can invest so much building your toys but it won’t be good if your customers won’t know how to play them.