The rise of the Internet has completely changed the way in which businesses sell and market their products or services to customers. While this innovation has opened up a world of opportunity for so many businesses, there are sure to be some that are a bit weary of all this change.
That is where David Meerman Scott comes in. As an online marketing strategist, professional speaker, and best selling author of ten books covering a wide range of topics within marketing and public relations, Scott helps businesses take advantage of all that digital marketing and social media has to offer.
Mitch Jackson, CEO of Human.Social, recently sat down with Scott to talk about his latest book “The New Rules of Sales and Service.” In it Scott emphasizes the importance of using real-time customer engagement, big data, content, and storytelling to grow your business.
I had a great time listening to Jackson and Scott discuss some of these topics and more during their 30-minute interview you can find here. Below are my 3 key takeaways from their talk.
1. Buyers are now in charge
For the first time in human history, buyers have all the power. In the past buyers have essentially been forced to trust the seller. Yes, you could have flipped through a consumer reports magazine or asked your friends for advice, but at some point or another, you had to hope that the seller was providing you with a fair price and a good product.
Now the buyer can research thousands of similar products from all around the world in one simple search. This increased access to a global marketplace has given buyers the knowledge needed to make better decisions regarding their purchases. Businesses must now carefully consider how to provide a better product or service than competitors instead of merely hoping someone will buy from them.
2. You need to be accessible to customers
Before the dawn of the printing press the primary way people communicated was verbally. Now we are experiencing another communication revolution centered around the smartphone. Still, a lot of businesses don’t realize how this revolution applies to them.
Scott mentioned OpenCycle, a premiere bike manufacturer, as a terrific example of a business that takes advantage of this new age of rapid communication by demonstrating their care and concern for customers. Gerard Vroomen, owner of OpenCycle, makes himself available to any customer that might have a question or comment about one of his bikes.
While this seems pretty simple, most businesses fail to extend the same measure of customer service and engagement. Social media tools have made it so easy to stay in touch with customers, but you have to remain committed to doing so.
Think of social media in the same way as exercise. You need to ingrain it in your lifestyle so you no longer think about whether or not to do it. It is simply part of your daily routine. The faster you do this, the faster you can begin demonstrating the value you bring to customers.
3. You operate on your buyer’s time
Real-time conversations taking place on social media have flipped selling upside down. Instead of looking for more people to sell to, businesses can now use social media to engage with customers that are ready to buy now.
Begin by focusing on the needs of the buyer and what is valuable to him or her. As strange as it may seem, you will sell more when you stop selling. Write a blog post or record a podcast sharing your expertise and knowledge about the industry in order to solve the customer’s problems. Tell your story to customers in the market and show them why they should buy from you.
Interested in hearing more from Scott?
Check out Scott’s free SlideShare, The New Rules of Selling, for a deeper look into some of the topics I mentioned above. You can also download his book, World Wide Rave, to learn about how to spread your ideas and stories to millions of people around the world.