THE FORM CODE
We live in a buyer’s market, where access to information and powerful research tools has put customers and prospects at an advantage over businesses using ineffective and outdated sales and marketing strategies.
Buyers are changing the rules and you’re now operating on new terms of business and only those people and businesses that evolve will survive.
The effectiveness of outbound, push style, prospecting and marketing promotion is diminishing, because customers have had enough of suppliers that don’t deliver on their promises and now they’re taking a stand.
If your sales and marketing strategies are not aligned with these developments then you have little hope in getting any profitable results.
Buyers Determine the Where, When and How Which Is Directly Opposed To Conventional Sales And Marketing Wisdom
Sales teams and marketers all over the world are experiencing increasing difficulty in reaching new prospects as buyers now dictate the terms of engagement.
Buyers today choose, where, when and how they will interact with suppliers whether its online in the form of an internet search engine or market place listing, directories, webinars, video conferences, whitepapers, articles, slide shares, bookmarks, forums and communities or offline in clubs, networking events, sales letters, trade shows, mentoring programmes, magazines or journals and with you and your business directly.
They also determine what medium they prefer to use whether its voice over the phone or in podcasts, audio downloads and CD’s, in words by email, letters, texts, tweets, blogs, or over video in pre-recorded or live stream formats.
Much of this diversification is a result of technological developments which can also be used as defences for screening and filtering incoming communications such as ad blockers, spam filters, call barring, Tivos (digital video recording device that can bypass advertisements in television programs), security card passes and don’t forget the well trained human gatekeepers.
People still want to BUY though, it’s just they don’t want to feel “sold to”, so they retreat and diversify away from what they don’t like or trust. As the years go by head on in your face selling and marketing assaults will continue to be met with higher levels of resistance.
Buyers are Informed and Multi Faceted and They Don’t Need Convetional Sellers and Marketers to Dictate to Them What They Should be Buying
Buyers no longer need sellers to tell them what’s new anymore. They review their latest RSS feed, send out a tweet or run a quick search online and have instant access to information about you and your competitors.
Most buyers have probably led a varied career and know a thing or two about being a seller, marketer and buyer. They can read the same books you read, watch the same videos and even attend the same courses. There is nothing they don’t already know or cannot find out about selling and marketing.
With the significant number of investments every company makes the average buyer has a lot of experience with reading hyped up marketing material and watching boring presentations and seeing every step, tactic and tricks in the sellers arsenal.
Making your marketing more “professional”, rebranding or just “sexing it up” along with tweaks to presentations and those killer closing phrases or rapport building tricks make little difference to your results as they did for me.
Buyers are Busy and Picky Unlike Conventional Sales And Marketing Approaches
Modern life is packed full of a ton of things to get done, and we’re all bombarded with messages of every kind from almost every direction.
With so much to think about and do buyers don’t have the time to receive all this unwanted sales and marketing “noise” so they just tune it out, and with so many interesting and available distractions it’s not hard to do.
If a prospect or customer does decide to engage with a supplier and later finds out something bad about them or worse has a directly poor experience you can be sure they won’t forgive easily. They will be seething especially when there was another supplier just around the corner which they now realise could have done a better job.
Buyers Dislike Risk
Modern buyers don’t like making mistakes or being taken for a ride, as I’m sure do both you and I.
Most buyers are born with a built in lie detector which becomes more effective over time and with use. Buyers in business get exposed to a lot of bull and their lie detectors are usually on high alert and probably over sensitive so at any moment they could go off without warning.
Buyers will forgive honest mistakes but they won’t forgive misleading statements or downright lies.
In a bid to avoid being mislead or buying into the wrong suppliers product or service today’s buyer cannot afford to make autonomous knee jerk decisions.
Buyers have to balance the short term and long term, current goals and future objectives and blend that with the needs and priorities of the business and its internal departments.
Decisions therefore become a coordinated effort involving parties at many levels and geographical locations, from the user to the boardroom. Without real motivation or a pressing need that makes a decision priority, and the circumstances which allow for the project to proceed buyers will not be buying from you any time soon, instead sales cycles become extended, investments get stalled or things just go deadly quiet.
Buyers Loyalties Change
With jobs at risk and careers on the line buyers will ensure they make the right impression and that means avoiding making the wrong one.
The decisions that members of staff and business leaders make including purchases or investments have a direct impact on how they are perceived within an organisation or industry and contributes to their future place and progression in that world.
Making the wrong decision could bring about disastrous results, so they are instantly polarised from the start to make a decision that makes them look capable and effective, as well as the company they work for.
This means they will be extremely picky about details such as the price and will not hesitate to compare you aggressively with your competition where there is little to no differentiation.
Buyers Want the Best Value
Buyers are scrutinising every part of every deal and price is just one part of the reason that a buyer selects a supplier.
Buyers are keen bargain hunters and risk adverse so they look for packages that help them achieve their objectives which could be for personal or business reasons and will ultimately make them feel in control and looking effective.
They want the best return from both time and money spent so you, your business, sales process and end solution will be considered a part of the total package and a value will be placed on it as a whole.
If the total cost implications of doing business with you don’t stack up then your value diminishes rapidly. A purchase must also present a tangible financial benefit to the company.
So what are you doing that could be considered unconventional sales and marketing that is working for you ?