THE FORM CODE
Business as usual is over! Why ? Well the industrialisation mentality which has ruled the business scene over the last century and led to fences being erected between buyers and sellers, and raised big businesses to their ivory towers where they plotted to take control over our minds and dictate what we would buy, is over. Its extinct just like the Dodo and every other thing that fails to adapt to a changing world.
Your customers will no longer be told; “You can have any colour you like as long as it’s black” or that “our sizes are universal and one size fits all”.
Where industrialisation led to ring fencing, hierarchies and ivory towers which separated customers from suppliers and their markets, new communications channels are breaking down these institutional barriers and reconnecting our world.
Once upon a time markets were actually markets where traders who travelled around the world returned to display their wondrous new finds and regale stories to match. People came because the market was an exchange of ideas, tales, teachings and developments.
Whenever you need a new idea just look into the past, as what was once the past will be reborn again with the changing times. The market has once again opened up.
This is not the end of business, it’s a new beginning as customers still need industry and organisation, they just want you to realise that you equally need them. You’re in it together.
A Few Dirty Secrets About Business As Usual
A lot of what those sales trainers, marketing companies and ad reps have been telling you for years is a bunch of porky pies. They’re pandering to egos ensuring you buy into the same old story that’s been spun a thousand times, which always leaves you questioning what was actually achieved.
There is always an impressive story that can be told to the top officers of the company who lap it up as direct support for some deeply hidden beliefs. Heck these suppliers must know what they’re doing as they are so big and well paid and their fairy tale stories seem so impressive. A deal gets done over a hand shake during a game of squash or golf and things don’t change much and neither do the results. Another day, another supplier another pile of money down the drain.
They’re feeding you what they want you to hear, not what you really need to hear which is the opposite of what an expert or consultant would do when they deliver news good or bad along with strategies to deal with it.
The truth hurts sometimes, but it’s the only way to move forward in the best way possible, and for businesses to truly generate growth stimulating and profitable outcomes that customers can also enjoy.
Selling By Numbers Is Killing Off Customers So Sales Is No Longer Business As Usual
With every business finding it harder to sell, it’s easy to start becoming needy about selling your products and services as the numbers are becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. This attitude starts to permeate through everything they do, repelling customers in the long run, especially so with face to face or phone selling.
Aggressive management that hammers staff repeatedly to deliver more numbers without providing effective support and useful tools pushes staff to the limits, forcing many of the them to cut corners and do anything to generate numbers irrespective of the consequences.
Based on my research there are few management teams today that seem to actually understand what is going on, or can provide any real answers or strategies for their people that do not involve more of the same stuff which is making things difficult in the first place.
They end up going for the short term gain which only leads to a long term customer drain.
Even taking the opposite approach, and using strategies like soft selling is equally as bad or ineffective as over selling. In trying not to seem too “salesy” you end up being “sneaky” which is just the same as not being honest or truthful about the real reason for your communications in the first place. Eventually you will be found out and it will negatively impact your credibility.
It’s no longer possible to build a real business on these kinds of strategies anymore.
Eventually the sales operation will be questioning the value of the marketing department asking why they don’t get any useful leads. Your sales team will also be looking at your business, saying to themselves that things need to change and if they can’t make them they will go elsewhere.
Overly Creative Marketing Creates Market Confusion And Business As Usual Goes Out The Window
With marketing messages no longer reaching customers in the way they used to and increased complexity creeping into the process, business owners doing their own marketing, as well as marketing departments and outsourced partners are being forced to come up with ever more creative ways to try and reach new customers.
As a result, those most powerful messages are becoming confused or lost amongst all the fancy, glitzy, whizz bang marketing gimmicks or the in-depth and detailed product feature sets that are being packed into marketing campaigns rendering them completely unappealing.
This has led to an avoidance of measuring the effectiveness of marketing, turning it into some creative blue sky thinking that is not held accountable for any results.
When a marketing channel becomes less effective marketers hop to the latest technological hope only to find out that the same convoluted messages and complex gimmickry gets similar results.
By now the marketing department is struggling to find new ways of getting your message to connect with prospects or existing customers and its questioning the value of your product or service and the effectiveness of the sales department asking why can’t they get customers to buy.
They then start questioning whether the business truly understands them, or whether there is any value in the products and services they represent causing them to wonder if they shouldn’t go somewhere else where they will be more appreciated.
Pied Piper Big City Mad Men Are Leading Businesses Astray And Business As Usual Gets Harder
For the aspiring business looking to grow, it would be easily forgiven for turning to its larger corporate cousin, who it aspires to be someday, as a good source of effective sales and marketing, but they couldn’t be more wrong.
The US hit TV show Mad Men follows the lives of ruthlessly competitive men and women in big city advertising in the 60’s while the UK show The Persuasionists set in the 21st century does much the same for modern day marketing and selling drawing many parallels between the two despite the 40+ year gap, exposing this world for what it truly is and the lack of any real progress.
All too often what made a large company successful has been lost in corporate policy and the style, swagger and gloss of mysterious high level sales and marketing strategies. Sales schmoozers, champagne quaffing PR ego boosters and big city madmen style marketing agencies all of whom are capitalising on the greed and success of these giants, turning their clients into monsters which customers no longer recognise or understand.
Due to their size and enormous reach, customers put up with these antics in exchange for the things they need or want, but they will move at the drop of a hat to a company that truly understands them when the opportunity arises. Fewer companies today are withstanding the tests of time.
Strategies that made them truly successful are buried in the past or are no longer effective today, so following them will only lead you further into confusion.
If you’re fed up with business as usual and you’re interested in finding out which principles really work then check out my Biz Dev Guide.