People are used to being sold to. There is advertising everywhere, from television to the web. However, all this advertising may be sending out the wrong messages. Even though people are used to being sold to this doesn’t mean they like it.
Marketers are going to have a very difficult time if they stick with a transactional mindset rather than a customer-oriented one. Consumers are more sophisticated than ever before and have many more choices available to them. The old tactics are simply not as effective as they used to be.
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For most of the 20th century, companies could get away with being more sales-focused. The internet didn’t exist which means people had to go to stores or showrooms or they had to rely on the telephone. This made it easy for a savvy salesperson to bring on the charm and to convince people to buy from them.
Fast forward to our current time. Consumers can get a boatload of information about products and services as well as information about the companies themselves. They can compare prices at the push of a button and can find out who the most dependable sellers are.
Consumers are becoming blinder to advertising as well. Even with television ads, they can record their favorite shows and watch them completely ad free. This is done automatically with their Tivo device or similar devices. On the whole, even internet advertising is being ignored at a higher rate than ever before. People still click on ads but not like they used to.
A better approach is to focus on the customer. What are their needs and wants? What kinds of problems do they want solutions for? To connect with them, you need to add a lot of value to the process. Selling should always be a secondary activity. Become a resource for your customers, not a sales channel. Get them to trust you and selling will be easy. They’ll buy much faster from trustworthy sources rather than unknown sellers.
Reach out to your customers in a way that makes them feel like they are part of your community. Get them involved in any manner that you can. Join forums related to your business and get involved. Use Facebook forums and groups. These are all great ways to stay connected to your customers. They will get to know you as more of a friend than someone that is begging them to buy your products.