The Hard Way or the Easy Way?
If you’ve bee trying to get more customers, clients, or reps, you’ve probably noticed that the game has changed. Maybe, like Spencer Johnson, in his best selling book, you wondered “Who Moved My Cheese?” In the twentieth century face-to-face sales presentations, as well as print advertising and television commercials were cost effective. Near the turn of the century three fundamental changes disrupted the business world:
- Consumers no longer trust salesmen or believe advertisements,
- Search engines and internet reviews like Angie’s List and Yelp have given control to the customers, and
- Large market shares have been converted to online sales. Amazon helped to put Borders Bookstore out of business, and Barnes and Noble were quick to sell online.
In the 1990’s Bill Gates predicted that in the 21st century there would be “only two kinds of businesses: those that are online and those that are out of business.”
The Social Media Revolution
In the 21st century we need to find customers where they are “hanging out.” The game of customer acquisition has been disrupted again! Facebook and YouTube have become as influential in driving sales as Google and Yahoo. “Social proof” gives credibility. People choose to do business with those that they (or their friends) know, like, and trust. Customer relationship management (CRM), referrals, and networking are the most effective ways to gain customers. Corporations now have C-level executives, like Scott Monty, heading the Social Media Marketing Departments. Even small businesses, independent professionals, and network marketers have their own “apps” and loyalty programs. Maybe Bill Gates’ prediction needs to be updated (LOL)…
Credit for the image above goes to Linkedin.