Two Big Changes That Have Affected the Way We Buy
When I conduct sales and marketing training, I almost always ask attendees what technological advancement of recent years has had the most impact on the way we conduct business.
The top responses are almost always the iPad, Facebook, YouTube, the iPhone and Twitter….and on and on.
But what drives those five?
In reality the advance in technology that has had the most impact on the business world is the wide spread availability of high speed wireless internet. Without fast internet, two of the above are nothing but high priced paper weights and the other three are not much more than AOL chatrooms from 1993.
Can you imagine YouTube on a dial-up internet connect?
Because we’re no longer tethered by a cable, and because it’s so fast and so widely available, the internet is no longer something we go on and then we go off. Remember when we would utter “I’m going to go on the internet for awhile” and then shortly after “I’m done with the internet if anyone needs it”.
Not anymore. Now, we’re wired to the web 24/7.
If your like me, that means you think nothing of checking your phone for email in the middle of the night, Tweeting in between meetings or playing Words with Friends while…..ahem….you get the drift.
We do a lot of web research now before we buy anything. We want to learn about new products and services from the internet rather than from sales people and advertisements. And we’re more likely to seek out opinions from others on the internet rather than company websites.
In essences, we no longer want to hear what you have to say about your products, we want to hear what others say about your products.
Another big change in the buy/sell arena is this dragging recession with its financial scandals and money misery. For awhile nobody was spending any money. Now we’re spending, but we’re being very picking about what we’re buying and who we’re buying from.
I’ve heard that brand loyalty is now dead due to the recession. People no longer buy something simply because they always have in the past. Each and every transaction is a new unique buying decision – from toothpaste to telephones – and deserves contemplation and research.
For some companies, this is good news. It means that your competition’s customers are now your potential customers.This is a time to position yourself to grab some market share from competitors.
For companies that have relied on a large share of long term loyal customers, this is bad news – past loyal customers might not be so loyal anymore. Especially if you are not working diligently to nurture and over-please your current customers.
So in a nutshell, people are using the internet to find out about us and what we sell, and then even when they do buy from us, they might not ever buy from us again.
But here’s the good news–> Despite the recession and prolific use of the internet for product info, research shows that people still want to buy from people they know, they like and they trust. This is true today, it was true ten years ago, fifty years ago and probably 100 years ago. It has not changed one bit.
But what has changed is what makes us feel like we know you, like you and most of all, trust you.
Remember, it isn’t advertising anymore. It isn’t messaging anymore. It isn’t coupons, or promotions, or sales.
What is it then?
It’s transparency, honesty, responsiveness, availability, genuineness, responsibility, and compassion.
Stay tuned. More coming on just how these translate to customers….and more importantly, how they don’t.