Why and How to Let Prospects 'Pick Your Brain' Online
"Can I pick your brain on social selling, Jeff?" As a B-to-B marketer myself, I cannot afford to say no. Neither can you. Because customers may not want to do it themselves, as we suspect they do. In fact, prospects seeking free advice are often latent buyers or great referral sources.
Here are two reasons to let prospects "pick your brain" and a way to give away knowledge that grows your business.
Is It Stupid to Give Away Your Best Secrets?
"What kind of a business owner would be so stupid as to give away a company secret?" asks business owner Jerry X. Shea. He says prospective buyers constantly ask him how he does what he does.
"My answer ... 'that is why you are paying us to do it, because others can't,'" says Shea.
"In 1992, I purchased a six-year-old screen printing/embroidery company," says Shea. "We developed a way to print a four-color process on a T-shirt, and as a result I knew we would get the 10,000-shirt job as other shops in the area could not do it. Now why would I want to post on the Internet what it was we did get that end result?"
Because the Internet is an insurance policy on prospects finding what they need—with or without your help. If they want to do it themselves, they'll find out how.
Businesses have always created and defended competitive advantages. Today, the Internet speeds-up the spread of information and exposes advantages faster. Bottom line: It's smart to rely less on proprietary knowledge (to drive success).
The DIY Myth and the Damage It Inflicts
"Giving prospects my best advice for free will help them to do it without me."
Not always. Here's why believing this can hurt you.