Selling Doesn’t Work
…the way it used to. The idea of a commission-based, pushy salesman trying to sell, upsell and cross-sell on products you have a dubious need for, is becoming a thing of the past. Big box stores use it as a benefit and point of pride that their sales staff “doesn’t work on commission” because it gives buyers the sense that they aren’t simply another notch on the sales belt. With the advent of widely accessible information (the internet) and a vastly increased ability to connect and communicate (social media), selling a product or service has evolved into a very different beast, compared to days past.
Buyers are becoming more and more educated on the products they want to buy. They have the tools to learn about products of interest without setting foot outside. When someone enters a brick and mortar or begins shopping online, there is an increasingly large probability that they are well informed about the products/services being offered. Convincing someone to buy with aggressive and misleading sales tactics won’t work when potential buyers are educated. Moreover, the “features and benefits” approach to selling isn’t enough, on its own, to close the sale anymore.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, there is a growing movement that focuses almost exclusively on creating an emotional connection and community as a means of “selling” in the social media age. While emotional connection and community are both great things, there needs to be substance to that connection. “Feeling good” about a brand only gets one so far.
The best recipe for selling these days is achieving a good balance between many factors. Brand representatives need to be truly knowledgeable about what they sell, they need to be able to identify and rectify the concerns prospective buyers have. Brands need to be actively engaged with their community through social platforms and easily be reachable. The products and services offered need to be of real quality, serve their purpose well, and be the right fit for buyers. Consumers want to feel that they will be taken care of beyond the initial purchase and that they will be heard when addressing future concerns if they arise. In general, people don’t just want to know why a product is “good”, they want to know that they are buying from a brand nurtures the relationship it has with customers.
“Selling”, thought of as a singular action, with the only goal being to close the deal, doesn’t work the way it used to. What we are seeing instead, is that brands are selling themselves, not just their products, through their efforts to build trust, transparency, and respect with customers. Ultimately, the end result of this process is what selling has become, and it isn’t going away any time soon.
Here at Connetik, we have helped many of our clients navigate the evolving sales landscape and adapt to the challenges that come with it. Let us know if there is any way we can lend a hand!