Are You a Small Business Teacher or Preacher?
When you think about it, there’s a lot in common between teachers and preachers.
Teachers dispense information to their class; preachers impart their own belief system on their congregation.
Students look to their teacher for knowledge; the congregation looks to their preacher for answers.
Teachers share their knowledge; preachers share their convictions.
But, there is one huge difference between the two. Teachers teach and preachers preach.
A teacher’s ultimate goal is to help their students understand difficult concepts, theories and notions. The best teachers don’t lecture; instead they immerse their students’ in the entire learning experience.
A preacher’s job is to passionately motivate their congregation to accept their ideology. They accomplish this goal by talking to them. (Although, the congregation might join in with a few “amens” along the way.)
Obviously, I’m sterotyping both teachers and preachers. And yes, I know teachers who preach and preachers who teach. But, bear with me as I drive down stereotypical lane for now.
Most small business owners are preachers. They talk at their prospects. They tell their prospects what to believe. They stand at their small business pulpit spewing out information in a loud, bellowing voice.
Prospects hate small business owners who follow the preacher model. They’re not interested in listening to a long-winded sermon about when the company was founded, where the company resides and why they’re such a top-notch operation. (You can probably see a few of them nodding off in the back row.)
Your prospects aren’t interested in you or your spectacular small business. Not really.
Prospects are interested in solving their own problems. However, the only way that a problem can be solved is when the prospect learns new information. And obviously, in order to learn new information it needs to be taught.
Here’s a 3-step process to move out of preaching mode and into teaching mode:
1. Pinpoint your prospects’ pain points.It’s your job as a small business owner to identify the most pressing problems that your potential prospects and clients face. Let them know that you understand and empathize with them. Even better, show them that you once faced the very same problems yourself.
2. Offer the solution.A great teacher uses as many tools and strategies as possible to reach their students. The small business owner should do the same. Help educate your prospects through a variety of channels such as social media, articles, press releases, videos and audios. You can never teach your prospects too much. It’s completely impossible.
3. Allow time for the education to take hold.It takes time to learn new concepts. Accept that is will take your prospects time to fully digest all that you are teaching them. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Don’t try and force them to make a purchase before they’re ready. If they haven’t completely soaked in all the important concepts about how your product or service can best serve them, then they’re just not ready.
Take a good look at yourself as a small business owner and decide if you follow the teacher model or the preacher model. And don’t be too hard on yourself, 90% of small business owners are stuck preaching to their prospects.
However, the most successful small businesses focus on education first; sales second.