There are changes taking place in how and why you are successful (or not) in selling anything. It’s a subtle change, one that kind of creeps up on you, but it’s happening and it is pervasive. It can be something that you understand and then adjust and take advantage of or you can wake up some day and feel like you’ve just been “sucker punched.”
The fact is that we have technology to blame. Like it or not, it’s a fire breathing monster that simply can’t and won’t be stopped. It’s moving fast and will continue to pick up speed. There is no way to avoid technology and all that it has to offer. My 87 year old mother has a smart phone, or shall I say that she demanded a smart phone.
So technology is changing consumers in a big way, and again if you’re in business in any form and you sell anything you had better be adjusting how you do it or you will lose and you will lose badly.
Here’s just one of the adjustments that you must make.
According to new research from BIA/Kelsey Group, 97% of all consumers are now researching products and future purchases online. 97%!
The User View Wave VII report found that 90% of consumers are utilizing search engines, 48% use online yellow pages and 43% are using comparison shopping engines to research purchases. The biggest change is that consumers no longer rely on only one resource for information. On average consumers are looking at 7.9 different sources for product information. In addition and to put a cherry on top, the Online Retail Payments Forecast found that 63% of consumers are “comfortable” shopping online with credit cards!
One final report stated what I believe is the real danger/opportunity within all of these numbers; nearly 70% of all consumers will have a buying decision made prior to the first face to face contact with your business.
So what really does all of this mean?
It means that potentially your consumer has made a complete 180 degree turn in how they think and whether they buy from you or someone else. I believe that we all need to look at our consumers/shoppers with a completely different eye.
Thefacts are that when a consumer/shopper calls you or walks in your door, you need to understand that they will seldom just be shopping. Today when they walk in your door they have already done their research on what they want and who might be the best provider of those goods and services. They know who has “made the cut”. They have done their research, on-line, on their own time frame and have evaluated their options and narrowed down who THEY CHOOSE to do business with.
So when they call or walk through your door you need to understand that they’re not going to want to get your “pitch”… they don’t want a grocery list of all of your features and benefits…they don’t need you telling them anything. They want you to LISTEN and ask questions and answer their questions. And, more than likely they will now be buying for emotional reasons. They’ve done their diligence, their bottom line research comparing features and pricing. You must understand that this has happened. Now they want to justify their decision with emotion. Do they like you? Do they trust you? Do they feel like you care about their needs or are they just a commission check and a sale?
Remember in most consumers/shoppers eyes today, you’ve made the cut, so now they’re trying to decide why they should do business with and the difference will be if you understand that change.
Consumers have access to more information than ever before, and they can access it any time they want in usually in any way they want. So we must change how we perceive each and every consumer interaction. We must see it as an opportunity to acquire a new customer right then and there because the person we’re talking to isn’t shopping, they’re ready to buy…now!
Are you ready to sell them…now?