As a freelance blog writer, I subscribe to blogs of many types. One recent post that caught my attention was by friend and sales coach Jack Klemeyer . Jack had overheard a conversation about the mess often created in the ladies’ room when ladies put water on their hands first and only afterwards reach for the soap.
Do you wet your hands and then add soap, or squirt soap in your hand and then add water? Well, Kleimeyer uses that question in his blog as an example of the proper way to prepare for a sales presentation. Many of the points stressed in that blog post are relevant to corporate blogging for business, because after all, a company’s SEO marketing blog is part of its effort to generate sales.
“Too many times when a person is selling (or trying to convey an idea or attempting to influence), they haven’t done all the prerequisites needed to ask for the sale,” Klemeyer explains. The coach is referring to things such as establishing rapport and gaining a complete and mutual understanding of the client’s needs and how the salesperson’s product or service can be of benefit to the prospect.
According to Mike Gegelman, a financial planner in Florida, prospecting comes down to three things: the right message to the right market at the right time. That’s in line with Klemeyer’s advice that successful sales are the result of prior preparation and research.
Speaking of prior preparation when it comes to business blog writing, in the early stages of creating a new blog, the blog content writer and the client (the business owner) are trying to strike precisely the right “tone” for the blog. I’ve discovered one very interesting thing I’ve in dealing with different content writers in Indianapolis and with the client businesses they serve. Whenever there’s a “disconnect” between the two parties, it’s almost always about how “sales-ey” the blog should or should not be.
Generally speaking, as I often stress when I offer corporate blogging training, blog posts are not ads, and there should never be a hard-sell or boastful tone to the content. When asked to provide business blogging help, I explain that blogs are closer in nature to informative “advertorials”, positioning the company or practitioner as helpful, well-experienced, and knowledgeable.
And that, of course, comes right back to the prior preparation and research Jack Klemeyer correctly calls such a crucial part of the sales process. One particular form of preparation I encourage anyone providing business blog writing to do is reading OPB (Other People’s Blogs). Repeating what other, established bloggers have said and then commenting on that forces business bloggers to think about what they might add to the discussion.
As Klemeyer says, a complete and mutual understanding of the client’s needs is crucial in sales. In corporate blogging for business, there’s a double load of “homework” that needs to be done, because, in a way, there are two clients to understand – the blogging client (the business owner or manager), and the buyers of that business’ products and services. Putting water on your hands and only then going for the soap can result in a big ladies’ room mess. Writing for business without doing your homework first will probably have a parallel outcome!