Internet has revolutionized the world of sales. These days, the offer of products and services is just a click away. We can definitely say that the way of selling within this context is not the same as it was 15 years ago, when one had to go to a store, get information with the seller and buy it there, with the actual product in sight.
So... Can We Still Manage Sales The Same Way We Used To?
I think we can guess the answer: no. Or we can, but it's not what we recommend. The sales model prior to the Internet was somewhat more aggressive, somewhat a conquering the adversary (aka customer) style. We had to win the battle and make this person fall into our net and buy from us at all cost, regardless of whether he needed the product or not, it solved his problem or not. The goal was to sell our product at any cost. If the customer left our store with a product in his hands, the sale was rated as successful.
This has changed. There are too many options that customers have at hand; The information that they can find on the Internet before making a purchase is overwhelming and for this reason, they are now a better informed, more cautious, more careful buyers. Clients know what they are looking for and have all the information they need in order to close the deal before facing a salesperson, information is no longer exclusive to the latter. Why then will clients choose your brand? It's at this point that we must face that we have to start applying new way of selling.
New Sales Model: We Are on The Same Side
This new buying model in which the customer is already well informed before making the purchase, we can't "sell" something to him, we should only give that one last little "push", since the previous work of gathering information was made by the client himself, in front of a screen.
In other words, the profile of the seller has changed, he's no longer the one who has the power of information and will sell you anything, at all cost. He's now a counselor in the buying process that the customer started and has been doing online for himself.
Now it is the seller's job not to sit in front of the client, on the other side of the table, as an adversary, but beside him. He should make the client see that he wants what's best for him, that he is putting himself in his shoes and from that position, he is offering his solutions.
And this new strategy makes sense because we know it: we don't like to get things sold to us, things that won't work for us but that we buy anyway just because we couldn't escape the seller's tactics. We like to buy those things that will indeed solve our problem, those that offer a real solution to the problem that we're trying to solve.
So, in this scenario, as a client, who would you choose? the sell-at-any-cost salesman or a salesman who:
- walks the buying road with you
- explains every single detail of it to you
- provides as much information as needed
- puts himself on your shoes
- would rather loose a sale than win an unsatisfied client
- knows that a happy client brings more clients
- in short, you can trust
It's not too hard to give an answer to this question, is it?
Building Trust, Upholding Commitments
The seller must hand over the power of negotiation to the client, because the latter no longer needs him as a source of information, he has the Internet for that. The seller must now earn his trust, be his buying advisor.
At the end of the day, if two sellers offer the same product at the same price, the customer will buy from the seller who "wins him over" the most, in other words, the one who he trusts better. Buyers no longer get in touch with the seller in order to find information about the product or service that he sells, they get in touch with him in order to get to know him and decide if he's the person from whom they'd want to buy something.
And as customers, if we perceive a lack of commitment, of honesty, a desire to "just close a sale" even though the product might not be what we need, we immediately look for other options. Put it this way: When asking for recommendations, who would you listen to the most? a person who sells it or a friend? Exactly. You know that the seller wants to "win" the sale because he wants his commission while your friend doesn't. Your friend really wants to help you with his advice. That is how we should start selling, as the friend who recommends the best for the client.
Relationship Based on Trust: Pros and Cons
This is how the Internet pushes us to change the way we relate ourselves with our customers and we, in DataBranding, think that this change is for the better. Having the possibility of building trusting relationships with clients, relationships based on honesty, carries a "risk" (yes, with quotations), but also many benefits:
Thanks to the honesty of the seller, the buyer realizes that you are not the option he needs and he leaves. One less customer. Yet you must realize something: he was never your client. If you are not going to be able to be the solution that he's looking for, he was really never your client. If he can't afford your services, he was never your client. And it's always better to let him go so you can focus on those who actually need your product or service, those who will be satisfied with your proposal, who recognize its value.
Sales based on honest information and on truly solving the client's problem, translate into:
- Open communication, no tricks
- No more misleading sales tactics. It all becomes easier since you just have to be open and clear and find the client that matches your company, your product or service, the value of what you do
- Happy clients, clients that will return
- Happy clients, clients that will recommend your brand to other people- more sales
In other words, you get truly satisfied customers, stronger sales, and therefore, more loyal customers towards your brand, which translates into "word of mouth" advertising and more future sales.
Are you ready to make this change that the internet is pushing every company to do? Do you not know how to do it? There are several digital marketing strategies and different ways to apply them. We at DataBranding work with an Inbound Marketing strategy, which is based on this relationship of knowledge and trust that can be established with the client via internet. Want to learn more about this strategy? Contact us and we will gladly advise you.
READ MORE ABOUT TRUST AS A MARKETING STRATEGY HERE: