When was the last time you deliberately went out of your way to speak to a sales person?
I’m not a betting man, but if I was I’d be willing to bet that prior to the last time you bought a product or service you did some or all of the following things:
You used Google to search for some of the answers to your questions
You read a blog or watched a video about the product or service you were thinking about buying
You compared products and services with each other online
You asked your friends or followers on Twitter or Facebook for advice
You read some of the Amazon reviews for the products you were interested in.
For the purposes of this article I’d like you to stop thinking like a business owner and a marketer, and start thinking like a consumer and one of your potential customers.
Consumer behaviour is changing rapidly and if you don’t start to change how you communicate with your potential customers you risk becoming irrelevant.
Consumers are in control
It used to be that sales people knew everything, and as consumers we knew very little. In order to find out more about a product or service we had to speak to sales people, and in doing so we knew that we would likely be talked into buying something we didn’t want.
As consumers we don’t like being sold to. In fact, the last thing we want to do is speak to sales people and we’ll only do it if we absolutely have to.
We are now much smarter than we used to be, and in some cases we know more about the products and services than sales people do! As consumers we want to be well educated, we want to make the best buying decisions we can, and we want to do it all in out own time. The fact is, if we make a bad buying decision today we’re just lazy, because all the information we need is right at our finger tips through Google, Social Media, and the Internet.
As business owners and marketers we have to understand that this is how our potential customers are behaving. They are more likely to do the majority of their research and buying decisions online before getting in touch with us for the first time.
What does this mean for your business?
Firstly, if you are not helping your potential customers to make their own decisions online before they contact you, you are losing customers you never knew you could have had.
Secondly, when a potential customer does get in touch with you for the first time, you can rest assured that they know what they are doing and the they are very much on their way to buying from you.
Finally, in order to take full advantage of this opportunity it’s your responsibility to help your potential customers to make a great buying decision, which means making all the required content available online for people to find.
My hope is that you will start to see that in order to market your business in the 21st Century it’s much more about helping people than selling, and in order to do this effectively you have to create the content that people are looking before they even know who you are or that your business exists.
Learn more about content marketing and how to create better customers at The Content Marketing Academy on September 3 & 4 at The COSLA Conference Centre.