Talking to somebody today they told me they were "resetting their business".
I asked them to explain to me what that meant. They had worked out how much cash they had, they had laid people off, they had worked out what products they could sell in the current Covid19 world. All good so far.
I then asked them how they would go to market.
Their answer was, the same as we had always done.
I asked them had they noticed that people purchased things differently?
The Big Selling Reset
The “problem” that companies have today is that they position their company as “buy my products because they are great”.
This is fundamentally flawed because everybody, including their competitors, say exactly the same.
You are just a zebra in a herd of zebras.
As a buyer, I know nothing about what your company does so how do I make a choice when all products sound the same? You may say that your company is different or you don’t have competitors but I can show you companies that look and sound the same.
So when you say "buy my product because it's great" it is what everybody says and you are "just another product" and your salespeople are "just another salesperson" with the same generic message.
Why Buying Today is Just a Blur
Your buyer is just like me, we know nothing about your company and you look like everybody else and it all becomes a blur.
The second issue they have is that the world is online. As soon as you put your products in front of me, I go online and do a comparison.
This will comparison will involve Google searches, reading content on social, asking my network questions.
Anything a company does, advertising, cold calling, email marketing, brochures, will trigger the buyer to search for alternatives online.
Interrupt me with an advert and it triggers me to do a comparison. The problem is, that if you are not on social then you are not part of that comparison.
If I tell you the BMW 4 Series is the best car in the world, you will go online and give me a list of cars that are similar or even better. All without BMW or a salesperson knowing you have done it.
I spotted a product on a Facebook Ad the other day and look the product up on Amazon and it was cheaper. So what did I do? Buy it on Amazon of course. Here was a marketing team, spending marketing dollars for me to buy from the competition.
The Companies That Win in this Pandemic
The companies that will win in this pandemic are those that realise they need to cut the corporate rubbish and build relationships and have conversations.
Know me, like me, trust me.
When we go to social media to get content, we don't look at a company social media page, we look at the employees social media pages. I read an article not because a company has posted it .... we avoid this material because it will say "buy my stuff because it's great". We know it will be biased.
Where as, if we read content from our network, the people we know, like and trust .... then this is the stuff we are interested in.
A read a person's post because I like that person.
People buy from people they know and trust.
How People Buy - Case Study
Last November, a BMW dealer in the UK had 28 pieces of inbound to buy a BMW car, they converted 14 of those into sales.
14 sales x 50,000 Euro = 700,000 Euros additional revenue for zero marketing spend.
This was the same month that their competitor, Jaguar Land Rover complained they were not selling cars and were therefore stopping production.
There Are Clear Winners and Losers in This Digital World
There are clear winners and losers starting to happen in the social space.
What you need to do right now ...
Your business needs to get digital skilled. You need to train your sales team in a methodology that will enable them to prospect where your clients are .... on social media. They need to have the skills to build relationships in a world where there are no face-to-face meetings.
They need to be able to accelerate their pipeline and close business through social.
Because this is where your prospects are right now and if you are not on social, then you are invisible.
I'm pleased to say that this story has a happy ending, the company that is resetting their business, they are going to provide their sales team with the digital skills they need and empower their employees on social. That is a different story for a different day.
If you are ready to give your team the digital skills they need then contact me here.
Often lacking is critical understanding of how digital impacts the business, and how to effectively plan and deploy the critical skills needed to fuel the reimagined business model. As one CEO recently told me: Every company is going to have to transform digitally. He described the need to invest in this moment of crisis, saying “Everyone’s going to have to adapt new ways of creating and delivering value.” This applies to customer relationships, sales and services, marketing and commerce, collaborating and reskilling workers, and more.