Share What You Know and People Will Buy What You Sell

A salesman has to knock on lots of doors but people knock an expert's door. Whatever your business, you are the expert. Freely helping people today brings clients tomorrow.

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By Matt Hanses

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What do Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates all have in common? Each is an amazing salesperson. They're able to get in front of others, clearly present their vision and persuade people to buy in.

By necessity, every entrepreneur is in sales.Entrepreneurs must sell their ideas to investors, partners or potential clients. No concept is killer, no business plan is air tight, before you go out and promote it.

Related: The New Approach to Get Customers Banging on Your Door

To be successful, reach out, make contact. You have to sell in an oversold society where the last thing anyone wants is a sales pitch. They've heard it all before and have gone numb. You're just another voice yelling in the wind, cluttering their inbox with emails they don't want and filling their voicemail with messages they won't return.

Soulless sales jargon -- amazing opportunity! industry-leading! cutting-edge! -- are the nails in the coffin of every spammy email deleted by a potential customer. Do you blame them? I don't. I delete those emails too -- don't you? Everyone worth your time is too busy for more pointless sales talk.

There is a better way. Inbound marketing is a strategy to get prospects reaching out to you. Often contrasted with "interruption marketing," such as billboards and commercials, inbound marketing provides valuable advice, tips and guidance. When successful, your prospects eagerly wait for your emails, connect with you on social media and sign up for your mailing list.

An inbound marketer is a respected expert, not just another salesman. Instead of being annoying, he is helpful.

Inbound marketing has a few basic tactics.

Publish helpful information. Regularly write a blog or a newsletter with interesting information your prospects seek.

Educate your prospects. Drop the sales tricks and gimmicks. Your prospects don't want sales pitches. They need answers. Give them what they need.

Related: How to Make a Personal Connection with Customers

Teach. To your prospects, you're an expert. Teaching people what you know makes you a lot more valuable to them.

Provide guidance, dispel mystery. Honestly, it can be pretty scary out there. People are trying to do the best they can. They worry they'll make mistakes. Help them out. Simplify complex subjects. You'll gather a following providing people real help.

Your prospects are willing to buy but they need guidance and, in your particular field, you're an expert. This is the beauty of inbound marketing: you get leads and sales by helping others. Reach out. Educate. Teach.

You probably have much more knowledge than you realize. Share it with others. People are interested and willing to listen, if they know who you are. Truly powerful marketing doesn't come from gimmicks, tricks or "sizzle." It comes from truth, facts, reaching out and genuinely trying to help your clients solve their problems.

People will buy from you when to let them know who you are.

Related: A 5-Step Guide to Creating a Successful 'Inbound Marketing' Plan

Matt Hanses

Writer, Consultant and Founder of Uplift Marketing.

Matt Hanses is the founder of Uplift Marketing, a company which creates tailor-made marketing and branding to convey the unique vision and personality of each client. You can find him at ByMattHanses.com or Uplift.Marketing.

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