Chapter 9EducateLeveraging Content to Shape a Buyer's Journey

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.

—Socrates

While trigger-based selling may not happen each day (as there might not be a new trigger to start a new conversation), insight-based selling never stops. Self-education, so you can better serve your buyer, is the first stage to insight-based selling. I would be lying if I said that changing a sales professional's self-education patterns will be easy. It's not. In fact, this is typically where sales professionals fall down, reverting to their old playbook, and neglect social selling over time. Education takes time, which we in sales never seem to have enough of. Unfortunately, you can't truly understand your buyer and gain your buyer's mindshare, unless you provide new ideas that truly push him or her to think differently.

Buyers are looking for teachers and consultants, not order-takers or caretakers of the relationship. This is perfectly articulated in Forrester's recent study called “Death of a B2B Salesperson.”1 A buyer is looking for you to provide a road map from problem to nirvana, then present best practices to mitigating risk and cost along the journey. Please understand that a buyer is conducting due diligence without you, gathering information from Google, competitors, industry analysts, and peers. If you think your corporate marketing material is the only information necessary to capture a buyer's mindshare, you're already behind ...

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