Education cometh before a sale

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Andrew Wetzler
Andrew Wetzler

The Internet provides an unprecedented opportunity to connect buyers with sellers, but it has also evolved into a more competitive landscape with fewer barriers to entry than any marketing method that has come before it.

With this in mind, it is vital to continuously develop new ways to differentiate your business from that of your competitors in order to flourish online.

One way to accomplish this is to invest time and resources in educating your prospects about all aspects of your business and your industry. Your investment will yield significant dividends.

There used to be a mentality with marketers that if you gave a prospect too much information they would decide to do it themselves rather than hiring a company to do it for them. That philosophy is so Web 1.0.

The abundance of information that can be accessed today via search engines is so powerful that there is no way to prevent individuals who want a how-to guide on practically any topic from finding a wealth of information. Most people, however, want a solution, not a guide.

It's important now to take the time to show prospects that your company is an expert and a leader in your industry. People want to do business with companies they perceive to be credible. Educatingpotential customers through valuable content on your Web site can go a long way toward showcasing your company in the best possible light.

This sharing of knowledge can occur in a number of ways. Writing and distributing whitepapers is one way to communicate important information.

Another is through the creation of a blog. Blogs are shorter and less formal than white papers, but if they're updated frequently, they can help position your company in an impressive, educational manner. Besides, there are also considerable SEO benefits to blogs as well.

So, don't be afraid to show that you're knowledgeable about your industry. You're not giving away the store, you're looking at gaining a long-term andprofitable relationship with the customer or client.

Andrew Wetzler is president of MoreVisibility. Reach him

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