We are never going back. We would rather download music or stream it than build up our CD collection. We watch movies on demand. We read our newspapers via the net. We have digital devices to serve our instant gratification needs for what is happening. We are fully in the information age. The industrial age is over.
Perhaps this perspective could parallel the changes that occurred during the Industrial Revolution. Imagine with the onset of machinery and the ability to produce goods at higher capacity that a farmer protested that we still needed to harvest crops the old fashioned way – by hand. Old time advice to till and work and sweat because that was how it had always been done would be outdated advice. It would be nonsense when the world had changed and such challenges had been resolved.
Such an argument exists today with how people believe business should be done. Thinking that we make things cheaper, faster and better is inconsequential in a global economy. Making things on mass scales is a commodity. Thinking we can connect with customers the old ways – direct mail, cold calls, advertising and all the other old school methods – shows a detachment from reality. There are much better ways available based on buyer behaviors.
Because we are fully in the information age, however, does not mean that we need to compromise personal touch. It is not mutually exclusive. It is actually even more important than ever. To connect with your customer, you must stand above all the noise with your value offering, work harder to prove your value and connect personally. Otherwise, you will be ignored. Gimmicks and shortcuts only damage your brand today. The choices and ease of accessibility to your competition levels the playing field fast.
It’s hard for people trapped in industrial-age-thinking to change. They don’t want to; I can understand. After all, what they did previously worked. It’s just not true today. They have changed as buyers. Their buyers work, connect and buy differently as well.
In the information age, having a technology system to connect with your buyer personally is critical. Putting it together in an elegant and precise way takes thinking, commitment and strategy. Technology is not a bad word. Using technology badly is more a problem than technology itself. Thinking in an old school way and expecting different results contributes further to the problem.
If you hope selling can happen without the internet, then your business is already atrophying. The key is not to get bogged down by all the technology. All the technology exists to make you wildly successful. How it is put together strategically to connect personally for a desired result is the heavy lifting that every business has to think through and execute. Two things may be stopping you from success in your business – your perceptions and you. Step back and look at both. If you can see reality and get the help you need to put the right strategy into place, then technology will become an enabler for your business to grow and prosper. It’s only a bad word when there is bad thinking involved.