The way we sell is transforming quickly! Why? Thank Amazon, thank Google – buying using the Internet is no longer just for the early adopters this is how everyone makes a purchase decision. You may be thinking, this is true mainly for consumers and selling to businesses is different. Think again – we are now selling to Business Buyer 2.0. Buyer 2.0 is 57% through their decision-making process using internet search to inform themselves about the options they have and why one company is different than another.
Buyer 2.0 relies less and less on consultants and sales professionals to navigate the buyer’s journey. What happens if we don’t engage them when they are starting to look? We lose. In fact, it is worse than losing we don’t exist. There are all kinds of buzzwords for aspects of this transformation you will hear. Examples include inbound marketing, search engine optimization, digital buyer profiles, but let’s keep it simple. The old way of selling was like the Marines. We stormed the beaches by getting on planes to go to conferences, cold-calling, sending mass-emails. It worked, people needed us to inform them. Now, most of this activity annoys Buyer 2.0. Don’t get me wrong, many aspects of the old way are still relevant, we need to build trust, we have to differentiate, we have to educate, we have to be tireless, and face-to-face selling is still required. But today, making more calls, getting on more planes and sending more e-mails will not get better results. This is where the Air Force comes in. Just like the Marines need the Air Force to give them cover, we need to be in front of prospects the first time they look for information. If we do it right, we can build trust right from the beginning when Buyer 2.0 does their first internet search to find solutions. We can set ourselves apart and provide value before they ever contact us. When we do have our first in-person conversation, we will know precisely what information the buyer is looking for and how best to help them. Some believe the old way of selling is dead; I disagree, it is just changing. We will always need the Marines, but if we add the Air Force (i.e., digital and inbound marketing) to support our sales efforts our chances of winning go way up! I will be releasing a white paper soon on how healthcare companies can use inbound marketing to support your on-the-ground sales team. In the meantime reach out if you have any questions. Happy selling!