Teaching instead of convincing

This is about an experience we just had at a recent meeting. We met with the local chamber of commerce to discuss the cost/benefits of joining their network of businesses. This was one of the first meetings we have had with someone representing local businesses. Before the meeting Devan and I met at the local coffee shop to catch up on hot items and prepare for the meeting. We assumed there would be a fair amount of convincing to be done because the majority of the people we meet are completely oblivious to the power of social media. The majority of the meeting was us describing in detail our passion for the business, the desire to help businesses learn, adapt and overcome the marketing shakeup that is happening.

I want you to mark this post. In 36 months, people will laugh at the idea of the phone book, radio advertising and television commercials much in the same manner they scoff at the idea of advertising through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. Now, many of you that are immersed in social media marketing every day might laugh at what I just said, but you have to realize the general public thinks this is a fad, unrealistic, a waste. Even Google ads is in trouble as far as I am concerned. How are people communicating right now in 2017? Through mobile on maybe 5 core applications. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube. How are consumers accessing these platforms? Through Google search? NO! Through the app itself. What good is advertising on Google if the majority of people aren’t using it to find the most popular websites?

The big problem is that rural areas are about 5 years behind the large cities. There are many business owners in my area that never advertised on Google, but they are ok with spending $500 a month to be in a local magazine that reaches less than 1000 people. They definitely don’t understand why they should be advertising on Facebook. All that needs to be said is, “Where are peoples attention right now, on a walk, while driving, in class, while watching television, out with friends? Their attention is on social media. Yes, even while they’re driving. After that has been said, you can begin educating. Never waste your time selling to those who can’t be sold to. Some people just cannot be convinced. Wasting your energy here will only slow you down.

Times are changing. Usually when large culture shifts happen, they happen faster than most people think, and also slower than most people think. It’s a matter of perspective. The internet itself is fairly young, social media is extremely young. Advertising on these platforms is even younger. We still have a long ways to go, especially at the local level.

I believe teaching is a much better avenue than convincing. Convincing can be off putting and make people feel threatened. You never want to make a potential client feel like your challenging their knowledge. From a teaching standpoint you will be deploying empathy. I feel this actually does a far better job of closing deals and tells the client that you understand your craft. Anyone can spout of stats, figures and jargon, how many people are willing to sit down with a client, listen, understand and help them understand the value of social media? If you can do that, I think you are headed down the right path.

Thanks for reading!