5 Reasons Why You Should Give Away Ideas

View Comments by on 13 March 2014

Here’s a million dollar question. How do you prove to a potential client that you’re awesome?

You could tell them you’re a web design rockstar, and they might believe you. But, more likely, they’ll just think you’re up yourself (no one wants to hire an arrogant designer). Instead, you could show them your portfolio and hope it speaks for itself, but that’s usually not enough. So, what’s a designer to do?

Well, you've probably heard me go on about how building rapport is one of the foundation stones of sales success. But how do you go about it?

One way is to share useful ideas with your prospects, freely, and without expectation of anything in return.

Now some of you might exclaim, ‘But Bianca, why buy the design cow when you can get the milk for free!?’.  Yes I’ve heard it before, but I’m telling you, from personal experience, that giving away a few helpful ideas to prospects really works.

Let me explain how and why you should embrace it as the best way to build more business.

1) The power of expertise

It’s the old ‘show, don’t tell’ game. Once you've had a good chinwag with your prospect about their business it’s time to shine. Sharing some great ideas with your prospects can prove your expertise. You prove you’re an expert straight off the bat.

Make them see you understand their business pains, you understand what’s lacking with their existing website. Take it a step further and talk about the sorts of things you would do if you were to build them a new website (if you’re one of my ProPartners there’s a great Site Audit Checklist to help you with this).

My only tip here is not to overwhelm them with a million things, pick out a few elements that could really help their results.

Remember, when you share your expertise freely you build a lot of trust with your prospects. And when it comes to getting sales, building trust is like putting money in the bank.

2) You don’t lose anything

When you give away an idea, you haven’t actually given it away. You still have the idea.  Besides, what are you really losing? You’re a creative, you've got ideas coming out the wazoo!

In fact sometimes the problem is you have too MANY ideas. So they aren't actually worth that much to you… but they’re worth a lot to a client who has no understanding of web design or the online marketing world.

Besides ideas aren't worth a cent without the execution. They aren't a finished product. So unless you’re Einstein with an earth shattering idea that needs to be patented, don’t keep it close to your chest.

Most people are never going to DIY a website, so what does it matter if you share a few useful concepts or tips? Nobody owns an idea. And hey, if they DO decide to go elsewhere and use some of your ideas, good luck to them, they weren't going to be a fit for you anyway.

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3) Generosity Sells

The thing about ideas is that although you don’t own them, you can profit from them and here’s how.

Now I know generosity is when you don’t expect anything in return, and we know you aren't going to close all your prospects, so let’s accept that when you share an idea that you are truly giving it away, whether they become clients or not. 

So, where does the profit come in? Because of the nature of people. In psychology it’s proven that the old ‘giving to get later’ strategy really works. It’s a reciprocity strategy that salespeople use again and again.

Sharing it creates a positive experience in the mind of your client. They know you've just given them something for free. I won’t say that they owe you, but it certainly can tip the scale in your favour when they make a decision on who to work with. So be generous; show your expertise and reap the rewards.  

4) You can become a thought leader

Sharing ideas doesn't just have to be one on one. You can go bigger, wider.

As you’re reading this blog you’ll know I share a lot of information freely. One of the reasons is that I just love this stuff and would explode if I didn't share it. 

But the other reason is that I believe in ‘content marketing’; I believe the new way of marketing isn't actually selling, it’s sharing. It’s building your profile, it’s letting people see who you are and what you can do for them.

I’m not much of a salesman (I let my partner Simon do that as he’s a gun), so I love the fact I’m not building my business without having to build leads and prospects; I’m just building an audience.

Of course, some of my readers will want to work with me personally, or they’ll join my ProPartner Program, which is great for my business. There’s nothing wrong with giving to get, especially when I enjoy the giving part so much!

So, why couldn't you start a blog? Or talk to a business group? Why couldn't you speak to a larger audience in your region or niche? It’s a solid marketing strategy that will absolutely get you more sales… and it’s fun!

5) Plus, it’s good karma

Even if you don’t get the sale, you've done a good deed. You've helped another human being get some insight into the confusing world of web. They won’t forget you. Believe me, unless you've insulted their dead grandmother they’ll think kindly of you. 

They may tell their friends about you. And hey, if the guy they chose over you doesn't work out, they may even come back later to you later on begging forgiveness. Stranger things have happened!

So go ahead and share! Think of it as a investment into YOUR prospective client.

I remember when I learnt about the concept of ‘investing’ into your clients by offering them ideas. Almost overnight I immediately improved my ‘prospect to client’ conversion rate tenfold… and all I had to do was offer up a few solid ideas on how to improve their business.

But before you go ,let me give you one more tip…. it’s about the ‘what’ and ‘why’... but don’t be so easy to give away the whole ‘how’... as this is how you give value to the services that you offer.

I got burnt like that… I gave too much away and in doing so got betrayed by a client. So remember… tell your clients:

  • What they need to do.
  • Why they need to do it.

But NEVER give them the full solution right there and then. Give them just enough to trust you, then reel them in with a  business proposal that delivers and  solves all their problems.

What do you think? Share your comments below.


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