There are many advantages to preselling over selling, and I tend to bunch them all into one big concept: The Preselling Advantage... because, well, why not?
By the way, here's what I mean by preselling: it's about gradually moving your potential customers (your "prospects") to the point where they're ready to buy from you, but without pitching them.
Let's get into the ways in which preselling has an advantage over selling.
Selling usually happens in the context of a sales pitch or a disguised presentation.
The problem is, if prospects don't already trust you and aren't already inclined toward what you have to offer, your pitch will be filtered through a lens of, "you're selling me something." (This can create a negative feeling, which can result in people not buying.)
Preselling happens in the context of CONTENT such as articles, reports, videos, and emails. On the surface, you're just informing and teaching your people... and who knows, you might even be entertaining as well.
This allows you to share thoughts, ideas, concepts and lessons that help move your prospects closer to the point of buying... and since you're doing it in a friendly, familiar format (such as an article), there can be less resistance and therefore much faster learning and acceptance.
In a sales pitch, you have limited time and space in which to convince people to buy your stuff, or they're gone... perhaps forever.
In preselling, you have much more time and space. This means you can do essentially all of the things you'll need to do before a sale can happen, but at a much deeper level.
You can build your authority in ways you can't do in a pitch. In effect, you can become not just another expert in your field, but The Expert, their go-to person, even their guide. When you have this level of authority in the eyes of your prospects, they are more likely to follow your recommendations and naturally buy what you have to offer.
You can tackle what I call "barriers." These might be the equivalent, in sales terms, of objections, such as "I haven't got time for this" or "I can't afford this." In preselling, you can neutralize objections altogether, so they don't even come up.
However, there might also be deeper limiting beliefs that act as barriers to buying. For example, if a person doesn't believe they have the willpower to take the actions your product requires, then telling them to "Just do it!" in a sales context is probably not going to work. Preselling gives you the time and space to dissolve limiting beliefs.
This brings me to the most powerful time-based advantage - that of preselling the process.
Most products require people to go through some kind of process... whether it's a 3-step learning experience, a 7-step plan of action, or whatever. A process can sound intimidating to a new prospect, not to mention hard work.
Typically in selling, the tendency is to minimize the amount of work involved, and the level of difficulty. "It's easier than you think... just 3 simple and almost effortless steps to a new you!"
The end result is often customers who don't use the product in full, because they were sold the sizzle, but not the steak. This leads to dissatisfaction, refunds, a lack of referrals... and ultimately, to a world where people distrust sales claims about how "easy" and "effortless" stuff is.
With preselling, you can presell the sizzle and the steak. For example, rather than just saying "it's easier than you think"... you can actually help make it easier for them, by giving them the insights and shaping the attitudes that will help them to achieve a particular step.
This takes a little more effort, because you have to create presell material for this, but the rewards are immense. The result could mean prospects who are motivated and prepared to take the actions required in your product. These people are more likely to get results, and become ecstatic customers who buy more of your stuff, rave about you in their reviews, and refer others to you.
In short: you can use your presell material to give prospects a head-start, by giving them, in advance, the keys to their success with the process at the heart of your product.
My unique way of preselling also has a structure to it, which allows you to take your prospects on a natural journey of learning and discovery.
You can read the details in my free report, The Presell Content Secret... but in simple terms, part of the journey looks something like this:
Site visitors begin their journey with what I call a Key Article, an article on the Internet, but with a few "twists" that make it different from standard Internet articles. (You can also make them into videos if you prefer.)
I won't get into all of the twists here, but one of them is that a Key Article should teach something memorable, that new readers ideally think, "wow, I never thought of that" or "I never thought of it like that."
You really only need 7-10 Key Articles.
Sure, you can have as much general content on your site as you like (I get that search engines love content too), but at some point you want to switch HUMAN readers from "I'm going to consume as much of your content as possible" mode (which is what endless blog posts do, giving people a reason not to buy your stuff), to "let me enter your world" mode.
This is what Key Articles do. They're tightly focused, and designed to draw people into your world, in a bigger way than a blog post on a random topic or thought you had while in the shower.
You can connect them with other Key Articles to keep building your authority, but you ultimately want to guide people to a big piece of presell content, such as a Presell Report (or video)... which does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of preselling.
There's no point in me revealing the whole Presell Content Framework in this article, because my free report covers this in much more depth.
The bottom line is, taken as a whole, the structure of Presell Content allows you to presell in a gradual and systematic manner, and allows you to tackle the obstacles to buying, in a natural and logical order.
Hopefully, this article has convinced you that there is a big advantage to preselling. It doesn't have to replace selling altogether, especially if you love selling... but it can definitely complement it!