In inbound marketing, your goal is by providing value to your leads throughout the sales process, you lead them to the close and to become brand advocates. Through your content, you provide them enough information to qualify themselves, understand your services, and make a need-based decision. For legacy salespeople (which I have been in multiple businesses and industries), the goal of any presentation is to “Always Be Closing.” This means that you are always trying to provide incentives, motivation, and tricks to get people to sign the contract.
I heard one sales trainer once say that you should drop your pen so that when the lead picks it up you can just hand them the document and say “Sign here.” The trainer was joking, I hope.
Inbound Marketing’s Alternative
In inbound marketing, the goal is to provide enough information and value to your prospective clients that they will be able to make an accurate decision and move forward with your service/product without high-pressure or hype. I recently put this into practice in offering a first session free for specific tutoring situations as a valuable service that also gives me and my students a chance to discover if we are a good fit. When it comes to teaching, a good fit is the highest value add you can offer.
A Sample Proposal
Sounds like your boys could really use some help building success in their schooling! As a fanatic reader (I just read an 800 page novel for fun in 3 days), a professional writer, and tutor, I understand the need to connect with children to help them learn to love our written language. Because of that necessary connection, I offer my first reading/writing session free to determine if my style of teaching and relating works with my students’ style of learning.
As you see in this proposal, I am proposing to offer an hour of my time teaching students in order to establish a fit.
No Gimmicks, No Hype
In giving value-laden information, you need to take care to avoid hype and gimmicks in order to get the sale. When I go and meet with a client, I will not always ask for the next session (because sometimes I know the tutoring won’t work). But, a client may not want to go forward with me, and that is OK. Whether you are creating content for someone, providing a service like teaching, or making a virtual or physical product, it is important to provide enough value that they can see the benefit of your service and qualify their own sale.
When I go to a free session, I provide the same service as I do at a paid session. Because, once I sit down with a student, my goal is to see them succeed, not to get a long-term working relationship. In tutoring, long-term relationships are the goal, as they are in writing and many other service industries.
We must remember what makes us excited and passionate about our work. Whether it comes to my writing or my tutoring, my passion is to see others succeed through the work I do.
This is the value of inbound marketing: you can always succeed if you help others meet their goals, and with enough value, your clients will close themselves. Rather than using pressure to succeed, keep providing value to your leads and give them the opportunity to join you in the journey.