If you haven’t read Daniel Pink’s book, To Sell is Human, make that your next read. Pink aptly describes the changing dynamic of the information economy and how disoriented old school salespeople and managers are using old tricks. Buyers have more information than sellers. This changes everything from home buying to car leasing.
The old approaches where sellers had control of information allowed a control over process and approaches to getting new business. Advertising could be sold based on a narrow channel and limited spots for buyers to choose from. The same went for education, entertainment and a host of other services and products we enjoy.
Information is at our fingertips as buyers and this changes the dynamics. When sellers had control of information, there was more certainty. Sales processes built on formulas and what to say could work because the seller had the power of information control.
Today, with the ease of searching and using our iPhones, it would be foolish to pressure a buyer or use an algorithm. You are no longer the only choice nor the one that knows everything.
You can’t make anyone want what you have or manipulate their buying choices. That may have once created a feeling of certainty by applying more of a structured approach that produced an output.
But today, it is more of a probability game within a structure that will afford you opportunities. You can increase or decrease your probabilities for connection and sales if you:
- are personal and likable
- can articulate the customers’ pain specifically and acutely
- tell the story of your solution in terms of the buyer’s problem
- touch people often and in many ways
- are organized so you can keep pace
If you think you can build your business with a formula such as put in these 5 people and everyone does these 5 steps, then we make money, you will find frustration.
With infinite choice, the world works a lot around free choice and you can only position yourself to increase the probabilities you can make a connection. Your pipeline becomes less predictable but can flow from being there with the right customer facing invitation with relevance and timing based on the approach you tune.
How is your business structured to increase the probabilities around connection with your customer?