The Sales Model for the Modern Day Customer Has Changed
There has been a seismic shift in how buyers get their information and how they interact with your sales team. They no longer rely on a presentation from a slick salesperson to get the data they need to make a buying decision. They also don’t appreciate having their day interrupted based on the schedule of a sales person.
Instead, buyers arm themselves with the information they need based on their own schedule. They will not only research products online but they will seek recommendations and advice. They will find referrals and search for experts to rely on. By the time a buyer reaches out to you they have already made 60-70% of their buying decision. Buyers are better informed and this puts significant pressure on all businesses to earn the trust of their consumers well before first contact.
“New Rules of Sales and Service”
In the book the "New Rules of Sales and Service" David Meerman Scott discusses how different sales are now from even a decade ago. As little as ten years ago companies were looking for motivated closers who had the experience to quickly take a client through the “sales process”. Of course, back then, salesmen were the key source of information. Salespeople were taught to be knowledgeable about their products and trained on how to close the sale. A sales person was EVERYTHING in the sales process.
Tricks, one-liners and closing lines do not work on buyers today. "Today, buyers are in charge". Sales departments must adapt to this new model in order to succeed.
How do I reach this new buyer, then?
More and more buyers are completing much of the sales process before they even make contact with a supplier. This is a significant change in the sales process and in how people buy. In fact the old tactics are not only ineffective; they can actually harm a potential relationship with a buyer.
But the perception of what makes a great salesperson persists. I recently wrote a blog called “Three Misperceptions of Great Salespeople.” You can read the entire blog here, but the three misconceptions I outline are:
- The best salespeople have the best closing lines.
- The best salespeople have the best products.
- The best salespeople are high pressure and are willing to take advantage of people.
All of these are false. Selling the modern day customer certainly includes expertise, enthusiasm and motivation, but tricking, prodding, or pushing potential customers into a sale is not the way to go. Selling to the modern day customer means that your salesperson is now your sales consultant. This new sales consultant knows that a modern day buyer wants a simple transaction but a custom solution to their problem.
At 21 Handshake, we want to help you be there for your customers with what they need, when they need it. An important aspect of modern selling is creating authentic genuine online content that encourages real-time engagement with potential buyers. It also means knowing where that potential customer is at in their buyer's journey so you can tailor your message to meet their needs. Being able to educate, inform and guide your prospective customers through the buyers journey aligns your marketing and sales as your content fulfills its potential at the precise moment the buyer needs it.
Download more on the buyer's journey here: