In the year 2016, consumers have more choices than ever before. This is true for both B2B consumers and for B2C consumers. Not only has the number of available choices increased, but the sheer amount of information available to consumers has increased as well.
Not many people will disagree with me when I say that it’s a buyers market and that the power within the buying cycle has shifted to the consumer. In fact, by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their interaction with a company without interacting with a salesperson, or any human for that matter.
If this is true, if buyers really do have more power than ever before and are quickly gaining more, what should a salesperson do to counteract this and reestablish themselves as an important component of the buyer’s journey?
As a salesperson in 2016, you have two choices:
- be visible to your prospects and business community using social media or
- be invisible.
Which one do you think generates more leads and closes more business?
Choice A: Be Visible to Your Prospects Using Social Media
Before you say that you don’t have time to be on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or wherever your prospects and customers are, you might want to rethink how you are prioritizing your time. If you are not spending time investing in your personal brand, chances are your competitors are or soon will be.
Nowadays, with the vast number of tools at our disposal, it’s not that difficult to be visible using social media. And the content doesn’t even have to be originally authored by you. You can show your thought leadership by curating posts from other sources that are respected in your industry as well as sharing posts from those that you already know and are well respected.
Choice B: Be Invisible
Just think about it… if the majority of B2B purchase decisions begin with an Internet search, and 57% of the buyer’s journey is completed before the buyer talks to Sales, if you are not being found in that initial Internet search, where are you in that process?
You are nowhere to be found. You are invisible. That’s the last thing that a salesperson needs to be. If prospects don’t know who you are or how you can help them learn more about the industry, product, or service they are researching, you are not a factor in that buyer’s purchase decision and won’t be—because they never knew you existed.
The Choice Is Yours
No one has ever been injured making a social media post, writing a blog post, or connecting with someone on LinkedIn. It’s really not that hard to do and doesn’t take that much effort. However, if it’s something that you are not used to doing, or if you think it’s all about playing games or consider social media for the younger generation, you're missing out. Those people who are using social media, like your prospects, can simply network and engage with a salesperson from another company that’s active on social media. After all, you are invisible.