“Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”

customersIn my blog ‘Are You Scared of an Informed Customer’ I discuss how customers are more eager than ever to source information before making a purchase decision. The hard truth is that if you don’t provide the information they are looking for, your competitors most likely will.

Ask yourself this question; Do I want my customers going to my competitors to get the information they need to make a purchase decision?

This is a rhetorical question, because none of us want our current or potential customers seeking advice from our competitors. If you can change your mindset from ‘promoting’ to ‘informing’ you will begin to build a trusting relationship with your customers. This relationship becomes a valuable asset in the long term.

A real-life example

The tap in my kitchen has been dripping for over a month. For all the DIY experts out there this may seem like an easily fixed problem. I on the other hand can barely put a load of wash on without dying my whites or flooding the apartment!

I was eager to be Mr fix-it, so I consulted my good friend Google for some plumbing advice. After typing ‘How to fix a leaking tap’ into the search bar, I clicked on the first link available. I was exposed at this stage to a great example of ‘inherently useful’ content marketing (As described by Jay Baer in Youtility).

I found myself on the DIY section of the Bunnings (an Australian hardware store) website. As it turns out Bunnings have dedicated a whole section of their website to helping the average customer solve common DIY issues around the house. Not once in this section do they promote or advertise their own products. The content is dedicated to informing and helping the reader.

The choices Bunnings made for their customers

  • They made a choice to inform, not promote.
  • They made a choice to be authentic, not devious.
  • They made a choice to create a customer for a lifetime, not just a day.

These choices are not a new trick or tactic that came about thanks to the internet. The internet just happens to be a channel where their customers seek advice. It is one platform for them to fulfill their greater vision and organizational values.

In the end I hired a plumber to fix my tap! But when I needed to paint my wall two weeks later, where did I go for advice? Bunnings of course. By looking to solve my challenges rather than sell their own products, they gained my trust. They may have just got a customer for a lifetime from one very simple act of generosity.

What you can learn from Bunnings

Take a leaf out of the Bunnings playbook. Help your customers overcome their daily challenges instead of ‘selling’ them your products. Know what information they seek, know how they access that information, and be the one to provide it. If you are continually providing the information they need to make purchase decisions, or solve their problems, they will begin to trust you. This trust will accrue over time, creating a customer that comes back over and over, and most likely tells all their friends and family about you.

Think about how you can apply this same philosophy in your business right now.

If your product helps your customer overcome a challenge, you may get them to purchase your product once. But if you provide them the information to overcome challenges they face every day, you will have a customer for a lifetime.

To learn more about Bunnings check out their ‘About Us’ page.

Image Source: Pixabay