Don’t Sell… Teach

Don’t Sell… Teach

Reader Comments (39)

  1. Hallelujah! I’ve seen the light. Great post. Good sales and marketing really have always been about educating in my view. However you also need to choose the right people to educate, not just anyone that comes along. That’s where it’s gone off the rails.

  2. Spooky.

    I have a decision to make today about educating / not educating on a website.

    You know how sometimes you read your stars and they’re (amusingly) accurate?

    That’s how I felt just now when I read this post.

  3. Agreed. Teaching rocks because:

    1. You give something of value to a potential customer for free to educate them about your product

    2. You empower the user and make them “kick ass”, to borrow a Kathy Sierra’ism.

  4. Very, very on target. Every potential client goes thru what I call an “information sponge” stage. In this stage all they want is information to solve a problem.
    I have never heard this type of marketing called “tutorial marketing” before, but I love that phrase. Do you mind if I borrow it?
    Charles Brown

  5. Tutorial marketing is somewhat related or a part of information marketing. People are searching for information and if information you provide, they will see you as an expert in your niche.

    It is a great way to sell without being pushy.

    I agree that tutorials are good linkbait strategy.

  6. “In the beginning the Universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.”

    -Douglas Adams

    Your quotes are more actionable however

  7. Amen brother. This series looks very timely for me – I started out thinking my blog could be a way of ‘marketing’ my coaching, but the more I treat blogging AS coaching, the better results I get.

  8. The fast talking, pushy car salesman might become an endangered species.

    Because of Internet access to info, people now know what make, mileage, colour and air freshener they want before they even step on the forecourt.

    Maybe it would be wise for some of those pushy car salesman to start a blog. That way they can start developing the sales process before people even arrive at their showroom. That is if they can apply their knowledge and expertise to educate rather than just sell.

    We might soon be witnessing the evolution of the ‘salesman’ into the ‘consultant’.

  9. And verily, the salesmen were sorely troubled and rent their garments when they realised that the wise Copyblogger had correctly read the sign of the times.

    Well done Brian!

  10. Nice post Brian.

    “Tutorial Marketing” is a great idea…validated by the fact people love to read “How To” articles.

    If you teach me “How To” do something new or in a newer and better way, my life will become easier because of you. And if you make my life easier, I’m gonna like you. And if I like you, I’ll probably buy from you in the future.

    That philosophy sums up how I feel about You’ve taught me a lot about copywriting. You’ve made my job easier as an agency writer. I like you more and more because of your positive effect on me…

    And you better believe I’d be willing to part with some of my hard earned cash to buy products you sell in the future that keep on making my life easier.


    Nick Wright

  11. I don’t sell online, but in my massage practice instead of going the regular advertising route, I teach…although I don’t think about it in those terms. It is often just one on one…I show them some tricks they can do to help themselves. No expectations. It is the way to go. And I’m with you–I see blogs as more akin to one on one than one to many encounters.

  12. Brilliant post and brilliant comments. It’s also true that you build relationships with your clientele by giving something of value away for free. Those relationships will then lead to more sales, directly and indirectly as they spread the word.

  13. Great post. Educated clients are loyal clients. The transparent experts who are willing to share information gain the trust of their clients? How do you become an expert? Teach, speak and educate within your industry.

    Ask yourself what sets your service company apart from any of your competitors. In a level playing field it mostly boils down to perception. You can change your market perception with expensive advertising or by sweat equity via teaching.

    As a business owner of a high tech service company, I spend about 1/3 of my time on education which includes free and paid seminars, workshops and blogging.

  14. I agree 100% – educate your clients first, sell them second. I find that the more my clients know, the more they realize they need me.

    My blog is set up as the educating arm of my corporate site and the two are working well together.

  15. Lovely post! I couldn’t agree more about the importance of tutorials.

    By the way, I discovered your blog recently, and I just have to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading it so far. You have a great thing going here, so keep up the good work! I’m inspired to start learning more about copywriting. Expect to get a pingback or two from me in the future. 🙂

  16. This is one reason why I turned to blogging. I love teaching but I hate selling. But I know I have to make a living somehow or my little daughter doesn’t eat. Teaching is a powerful tool if you know how to use it.

  17. Brian,
    Even though you wrote this in 2006…this method is still the preferred method in 2011…
    Over the years I’ve experimented with many closing techniques and found when I used a direct approach….the customer would have buyers remorse and return the product. I, however, learned that educating customers was best. I noticed that at the end of a presentation I never asked for the sales but instead the customer would tell me “Give me everything you showed me” and my return rate was very low.

  18. People are naturally resistant against being “Sold” to. On the flip-side they are more that willing to check something out that will teach them something about what they are trying to learn. When you make your focus about pleasing the customers and building a trusting relationship then you will be able to market certain items to them.

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