they know you run food hygiene or customer care courses; or that you have an engineering facility where you train CADCAM, or whatever, … but nothing else.
If they want that sort of training they might pick up the phone and ask you to quote on some training for them.
But if they want some training on project management or databases they will probably look elsewhere .. perhaps they’ll search online .. but they are less likely to phone you as a first action because in their head you only do what they know about. .
And they probably don’t even know how some of your products and services, like basic literacy courses, could help them solve their productivity problems. Because no one has ever told them.
One way of telling them is to write an article for a business magazine, and when it is published send a copy to selected prospects or customers. This works with online articles as well. It also builds your credibility.
No one wanted iPlayers and mobile phones before they were invented
Sometimes, like in the “real world” where no one knew they needed a portable music player before Sony invented the Walkman, they don’t know they need a solution to a problem they don’t yet recognise.
Our job is to educate them about the course, products and services we offer to solve their problems. To do that we have to ask questions and listen to answers. It is no good jumping in at the wrong level without ascertaining their experience and knowledge.
For example team building might be a way to increase productivity as might business process improvement. Try to sell the wrong one to a prospect and you will lose the business. Asking the questions, “What have you tried so far” and “What impact did that make”, will prevent you offering something they have tried and didn’t work …. which is a sure way of getting shown the door.
Focus on Their Expectations & Awareness
You see you have to match your message to their level of awareness and expectation. And each person will have different levels of awareness and expectation.
This means that when preparing sales or marketing that focuses on “one to many” or “one to one” you really have to think through their understanding, beliefs and awareness about their problems; and how you can help them.
This is easier on a one to one basis, but not simple. When dealing one to many it might mean segmenting prospects into small groups with similar characteristics, beliefs etc. This is a lot of work but does repay your effort with better response rates.
Sometimes it is far better to focus on getting the message right for an individual or a small group rather than sending a standard message out to everyone.