Much of sales training is about asking the right questions; ask a prospect the right questions, and you'll find out what you need to know, in order to make the sale. "As long as you're the one asking the questions, you're the one controlling the sales process." That was, and still is sage selling advice.
Think about the last major purchase you made... you probably went on line first to research the product, service, and the various places where you could buy it. You had a lot of questions, and you were looking for answers.
The sites that give us the best answers were the sites that we learn to rely on for the information we need to make the right decision. Those sites are your digitial "trusted advisors."
The New York Times recently wrote about River Pools and Spas, a Virginia-based company that changed its entire marketing strategy from the traditional "Let us tell you about us" approach using advertising, to a "Let us listen to you and respond" approach using on-line content, and more specifically, publishing answers to the questions that customers ask most often.
The point is this:
The Internet has transformed the way people buy - we're now more research-oriented than ever. Customers are looking for honest answers to questions. The company that provides the answers is the company that earns the trust.