As a business blogging trainer, I fancy myself something of a coach. Plus, over a decades-long financial services career, I’d been through my share of sales coaching sessions. For both those reasons, the title on the latest enewsletter from Propelis Consulting was an attention grabber for me. Could it be that telling vs. asking is the biggest blunder we blog content writers need to avoid as well?
While each Sales Manager will have his or her personal coaching style, Mark Thacker, principal at Propelis, believes the top mistake Sales Managers make when coaching Sales Reps is that they tell instead of ask.
“Telling” is a highly directive and subservient form of communication that makes salespeople feel like robots and produces mediocre performers. Instead, Propelis recommends, the Sales Manager must develop the skill of asking thoughtful and thought-provoking questions. The goal is to help salespeople develop their ability to self-direct and solve their own problems.
How can that sales training insight apply to the content business owners and professional practitioners offer their online readers?
We can get readers to ask themselves the question about how the information we’re presenting applies to their situation. The goal is to guide clients to decisions, but even as we business content writers suggest specific outcomes, we acknowledge it is the client’s decision, not ours.
- We can offer facts and data. Online searchers arrive at your blog on a fact-finding mission, looking for information about what you do, what you sell, and what you know about. Give them the information they came to find – and quickly. The tone should assume that rational buyers trusts they have complete information will translate that into action.
Whether you’re a business or practice owner or a freelance blog content writer, ask yourself? Are you telling instead of asking?