The Key Differences between Education-Based Selling and Traditional Sales Tactics

When it comes to marketing and selling your online course, you may find yourself confused about what tactics to use to sell a digital product. You may be concerned that people will see you as “salesy” if you start advertising your course. But there are different methods of selling online that don’t require knocking on doors and manipulating people into getting your product. So, in this article we will talk about education based selling and how it’s different from traditional sales methods. 

Similarity: You Need to Tell People About the Product

Although traditional and education-based selling differ, they both have the same goal – converting a potential customer into a buyer. And in order to accomplish this goal, you have to first tell people about your product. 

Hopefully, by the time your customers land on your website or landing page, they are already familiar with your company and the product through education based marketing efforts. 

Then, on your website or during an educational webinar, you tell potential buyers about the product, mention customer reviews and give a sales pitch. 

The key here is to focus on the benefits of your product and how it can solve your customer’s challenges. You can also paint the picture of their Learner journey from A to Z which we talk about in our Free MasterClass

You aren’t trying to force prospects to buy something they don’t need, but rather help them make an educated decision on whether your product or course is a solution to their challenge.

Difference #1: The Motives Are Different 

The big difference between education and selling is motive. With education-based selling, the ultimate goal is to add value to the life of the learners. Your value proposition is to add value via education. 

In contrast, with selling, your goal is to make the sale. You don’t care whether you add value to the learner’s life as long as you make the sale. 

It Can be Hard to See

The challenge with the motive being the only thing separating the two is that it can be hard to identify education-based selling. 

Your learners may not know whether you are educating them or selling to them until after you’ve purchased the product. Then, you can see if the person selling to you was genuinely trying to help or simply make a sale. 

More on Branding & Selling: 

Difference #2. You Can Provide Enough Value to Encourage Sales

At the core of education based marketing and selling is the idea of providing so much value to your audience that they feel they should buy your product. They feel they have already gotten enough value to justify the cost of your product. 

Maybe they want to support you to thank you for the value provided. Or maybe they assume that if they got so much value for free, they must get even more when they pay. 

If you can achieve this goal, then you are doing your job right. This means that you don’t necessarily need to push for selling. Educating can be enough, as you will continue to add value, and that added value for learners improves your marketability. 


Whether you educate or sell to your learners, you are giving them more information about your product and something they don’t know. The big difference is your motive. The goal of education is to add value, while the goal of selling is to make a sale. 

Want to create a successful eLearning Program?

Watch our free masterclass and we'll show you how to build an eLearning Program in less than 90 days and save $10,000 in the process.

+ receive exclusive content direct to your inbox every week.