We are living in an age of the empowered buyer. Your prospects are in more control of the buying/selling process than ever before. They’re increasingly annoyed by old school marketing strategies and high pressure sales tactics. In order to be successful in today’s hyper-competitive market, it’s important that we listen to our buyers and understand their expectations.
1. Don’t suck.
Enough with the marketing fluff and sales speak. Don’t tell me how great you are. Let me draw my own conclusion as I evaluate your expertise and experience. Talk to me like I’m a human with a problem to solve (because that’s what I am). Educate me. Tell me something I don’t already know. Share information on the potential pitfalls and obstacles I face in trying to solve my problem. Tell me stories about how others solved a problem that’s similar to mine. Give me insight into the nuances of your solutions. Share your unique point-of-view. Challenge me to look at my problem from different perspectives. Don’t be afraid to give me a taste of your “secret sauce.” I’m not going to try to duplicate it, but I do want to know that you can.
2. Don’t waste my time.
Be relevant. I don’t think I’m like everyone else. I think my business and situation is different and unique. Consequently, I require an approach that leverages your experience, but is customized to my distinct requirements. Even if you don’t think I am all that unique, treat me like I am. So do your homework. Know as much as you can about me before you call. Read my website, blog, and press releases. Don’t expect me to read yours if you haven’t read mine. Then customize your message based on what you’ve learned about me and my business. Demonstrate your understanding by using my terminology and position your solutions in a way that will resonate with my point-of-view.
3. Be easy to work with.
This starts with being easy to find. I can’t work with you unless I know you exist. If you don’t have a website that’s easy to find, then you may as well not exist. Your website should be inviting and easy to navigate. Don’t make me maneuver through multiple pages and clicks to find the information I’m looking for. Please make it easy to find your contact information. In fact, place it in several locations on your website. You’ve invested so much time and money to get me to your website, why do you hide your phone number from me when I’m ready to talk to you? Give me multiple call-to-action opportunities that provide a path to different ways to engage with you. I may be interested and want to learn more, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to schedule a sales consultation. Don’t make that my only option. Once we do engage with each other, do what you say you’re going to do. Clearly communicate the next steps in my exploration process and then follow through.
4. Be flexible.
Remember that my buying process doesn’t necessarily align perfectly with your marketing calendar and sales process. That means my best next step in the buying journey may not be the next step in your sales pipeline. Don’t force the issue. Don’t make me feel like a square peg in a round hole. You may be ready to present a proposal, but I may want to see examples of your work first. You may want to conduct a formal needs analysis meeting, but I may want you to first present your capabilities to my peers.
How does your organization measure up to your buyer’s expectations? It may be time to take a fresh look at the processes and tactics you’ve been deploying.