Stop selling and start helping me buy.

If there is one axiom that captures the monumental shift in marketing it’s this: It’s no longer about selling to your prospects, it’s about helping them buy.

Nobody likes to be sold to. It feels pushy and manipulative. It puts the company at odds with the consumer. As if it’s a battle. Watch Barry Levinson’s Tin Men to get a hilarious look at the worst of this dynamic.

Today, our prospects just expect a different dynamic. They expect great help. Delivered when and where they want it. It’s changing things for every marketer, and it requires three things:

  1. Understanding your customer’s journey
  2. Developing valuable content to help your customer advance through every step of that journey
  3. Delivering it through the channels that your customer uses

We have all experienced this when it is done well. You find the offer for something useful at a time when you’re looking for help. Maybe it’s a free guide, or a checklist, or a how-to video. Maybe it comes through a Google search, or your email, or through your LinkedIn feed. It just feels like someone understands and is catering to you.

That’s what turns prospects into customers. And it's something that no amount of selling can accomplish.