In previous blogs, I reviewed Sam Bowers’ description of the model of the new economy and how it is affecting the pricing and accounting of products and services. Now, let’s take a look at how sales and marketing are affected:
Now that people are primarily buyers, you have to quit selling to them. Selling irritates them. It also raises your overhead and reduces your margins and profits. Salespeople are trained to give away information, assistance or services to customers until they get their orders.
Salespeople must now become negotiators. Instead of beginning with the highest level of service and succumbing to the customer’s pressure to lower the price, they need to start with the lowest, bare-minimum price and then negotiate add-ons. As a customer asks if the price includes Service 1, say “No, but, we can do that for an additional $$$”.
In the new economy, you must separate knowledge acquisition from the sales process. If a customer needs help deciding between your products and services or needs help with implementation, provide them with consulting, and charge for it.
If your website is inadequate, it may force a prospective customer to make a telephone call to your company. In the new economy, most customers will forgo the call and try another competitor with whom they can deal electronically. Your website must make ordering easy for your customers. Anything that you feel that you need to say personally, put on your website.
Businesses still in the old economy, often have employees that share both sales and marketing responsibilities. Marketing departments are often staffed with sales reps who weren’t very good at sales, so they were transferred to marketing where they are used to support direct sales.
The more valuable skill in the new economy is marketing. Good content and interactive marketing drives customers to your website where the electronic relationship is formed and cultivated. Marketing embeds your website in the minds of your prospects, so when they are ready to buy, they visit your website. Your marginal cost of adding new customers is almost zero.
In my next blog, you can see the checklist that I created to help you make the transition from the old economy to the new one.