Okay, I’ll admit it, I was trying to get your attention with the inclusion of the word sexy in the title of this post, but before you cry foul, sexy as an adjective simply means desirable, interesting, appealing – all good things when it comes to attracting clients.

Teaching Sells

photo credit: theirhistory via photopin cc

Everyone knows that today you must educate if you want to build trust. But, may I suggest that teaching what you know how to do is also a powerful way to go beyond trust to closing more deals.

I’m not simply suggesting that you demonstrate your expertise. I’m talking about going to the point where you show someone, anyone, precisely how you do what you do.

Now, some might propose that this is a sure way to put yourself out of business. I mean, if you show someone how you do your magic tricks, they won’t need you.

Here’s the deal. Some people may actually take the information you share and figure they can take the DIY path, but I’m guessing those folks aren’t your ideal prospect anyway.

What I know is that some other people will conclude that you actually do know what you’re talking about and further, what you just explained is a whole lot harder than they imagined and would you please now charge them a premium to do it for them.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is sexy!

I have a client who came to this brilliant conclusion in this manner.

She is a photographer that specializes in taking infant and child portraits and candids.

Her competition is every other photographer and every parent with an $800 camera. Let’s just say there’s some significant price pressure in this arena.

So what does she do?

She starts holding free classes to teach all of those parents with their new $800 cameras how to take better pictures of their babies.

What, you say, that makes no sense at all.

Turns out the demand for this type of teaching is huge and she fills up class after class.

But, what you might not have guessed is that about 30% of the participants also hire her to take photos of junior for her full studio price.

Also turns out people had no idea how hard it is to take really awesome pictures and now the only person they will trust to take really awesome pictures of their child is my photographer client.

Oh, and now she charges for the classes too and still generates significant business from students.

So, what can you teach that will make your business more desirable, interesting, and appealing.

See, it turns out teaching is a pretty sexy way to sell.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Philip Quintas

    Thank you, John, for this very encouraging post. You confirmed exactly what I had suspected and am working toward doing at this time. By sharing the example of your photographer client, I feel even more confident that I am on the right track.

    • Thanks Phillip – so what are going to do now?

      • Philip Quintas

        My new motto is: I help you grow your good name.

        Here’s my plan: I am writing down everything I know about event videography and preparing to leverage that as a book and a series of online instructional courses (to range in price price from free up to $197) to use as lead generation magnets. My goal is to eventually sell an extremely successful consulting business that helps people who want to enhanced their online presence by building highly effective (read: response generating) media libraries.

        Thanks for asking, John, what do you think about that?

  • Great example of how teaching doesn’t take away from sales. I teach people how to build their own WordPress site and a few times it’s even led to referral business.

  • Love the concept of give, give, give till it overwhelms so much, they have to hire you to do it as well as you do!

    • I think the key here is that in most cases it also takes price way down the list of considerations

    • Agree, there comes a tipping point and then they are yours…#StickyIncome

  • This is a great post! Thanks John for clearly and succinctly showing that there should be no fear to educating others; it actually shows them how valuable you will be in providing the service. Awesome!

    • Thanks Howard – it’s precisely what I’ve experienced for years.

  • JayneG

    I have started doing this too, and am amazed at how this has increased sales. If you teach, then customers believe you to be an expert in your field and put more trust in you.

  • Giving away just enough to get people wanting more is a proven way forward for us at Customeyes…

  • Glauber Couto

    Teaching clients means reducing the objections, increasing engagement and future sales. Great article.

  • Trudy

    I’m a former school teacher (taught for 8 years in the 70s) so since teaching is what I know and do well, it’s what I’m doing with my clients whether it’s called coaching or consulting, it’s teaching. I wrote a blog post about teachers make good entrepreneurs. http://www.boomerbizbuilder.com/2012/10/23/how-being-a-schoolteacher-prepares-you-for-entrepreneurship/
    Teaching IS sexy!

  • Amy

    Spot on. Great article.

    I also think teaching can work wonders in terms of differentiation. In the case of your photographer client, competition was high. When competition is high, branding is only harder. By having the guts to share her insights through her sessions, she immediately stood out from all the other photographers in the area.

    It can be intimidating to teach others when you’re still just learning yourself. But that courage, I think, can make people gravitate toward you – professionally and personally. Plus, teaching only helps you learn more!