This week’s Small Biz Chat interview is with small business expert Malika Duke. Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wed on Twitter from 8-9pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat for weekly details. This post is excerpted from my recent interview with Malika Duke, @BizSavvyMom, who is an expert in lead attraction and conversion on the Internet. She coaches her clients on how to master the web as a marketing tool. Formerly a floundering network marketer, Malika has attracted an impressive global client and in less than 18 months has become a sought after passion-to-profits marketing coach and consultant. If you want help to create and implement your “Sell-ucation” process click here http://www.savvybusinessmom.com/online-leads-who-buy-alot.
SmallBizlady: What is the best way to sell online?
Malika Duke: By not trying to impress your prospect through hype, flashiness, or sugar coating problems with your product or service. Instead you are informing them of their options and only looking for a mutually beneficial relationship.
SmallBizlady: What is sell-ucation?
Malika Duke: It’s a way of selling through education and direct response. The objective is to create prospect education systems where customers can learn who you are, want you have, who it is for and how you can help them. Prospective clients are always looking to make an informed buying decision and the law of reciprocity compels them to buy from you. It will also to increase buyer confidence, reduce buyer remorse and inspire your prospective buyers to take immediate action.
SmallBizlady: How do you stand-out from the noise selling online?
Malika Duke: Now a days, regardless of what you are selling, prospects are bombarded with “buy this now” messages and they are scratching their heads thinking, “Why?”. Why this and not that, yours and not hers? People are just tired of it. In this economy buyers want to be smart with where they invest their money so you;ve got to earn it by giving value.
SmallBizlady: What are some of the benefits of using sell-ucation?
Malika Duke: If done well, you can generate sales easier, because there’s less buyer confusion. This process answers objections succinctly so sales come easier and refunds drop dramatically.
SmallBizlady: Are their any drawbacks from using this method of selling online?
Malika Duke: This selling method takes time, so if you are the type of business person that just wants people to show up and buy this is not for you. (And that never really happens!) You have got to put the time into creating the systems and they will always need tweaking based on the feedback from your prospective clients. It requires that you create content that will do the selling and educating. It also requires some real creativity which may be graphic design, an instruction designer or programmer.
SmallBizlady: What happens to small businesses that do not educate their online customers?
Malika Duke: Businesses that don’t educate their buyers will continue to see a steady decline in sales as more and more of their competitors implement these simple systems and strategies. They will find it harder to bring in new customers and generate repeat business for years to come.
SmallBizlady: Can any small business use this selling method?
Malika Duke: All kinds of businesses will benefit from taking the time to put education materials together. Professional service companies of all types lawyers, dentists, coaches, network marketers on and on. Retail businesses can benefit too ncluding jewelers, car washes, restaurants, etc.
Smallbizlady: What needs to be in place before you create your selling campaign?
Malika Duke: You need to have a well organized sales process or sales funnel in place. Sell-ucation is the rejection free way to initiate relationships with prospective and current partners and clients, but there must be a “what next” element inside the rest of your sales funnel.
Smallbizlady: Can you automate this selling campaign?
Malika Duke: You can and should use a combination of live one time events and prerecorded/written content to get the most out of your sales funnel. You should also create maximum value for your buyers and would-be buyers with that content. Parts of it, such as email delivery of content, will be automated or can be leveraged through outsourcing delegating and direct response marketing.
SmallBizlady: Some examples of sell-ucation in use today in mainstream media?
Malika Duke: Don’t laugh but, Infomercials are set up to exactly do this. There’s a reason they all follow the exact same formula and they all sell like crazy! They grab the attention of their ideal audience quickly, state the problem, offer their solution, show proof with a demonstration and testimonials and then tell you how you can order!
SmallBizlady: What are the best mediums to attract your prospects and leads with this process?
Malika Duke: You can use your website or blog and other social media as well. Use any medium you have at your disposal now and start educating while selling today!
SmallBizlady: How can this be implemented in your business immediately?
Malika Duke: Start by brainstorming with your prospects about their hot button issues. Then create content that helps those who still have a qualified interest to “connect the dots” to your product/service as the solution.
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9pm ET follow @SmallBizChat or @SmallBizLady on Twitter for info.
Melinda Emerson, known to many as “SmallBizLady,” is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Coach and Social Media Strategist who hosts #SmallBizChat weekly on Twitter for emerging entrepreneurs. Her first book Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months is out in March 2010.