Oct 30, 2014

Seller Beware

In the pre-Internet days people used to say, “Buyer Beware.” Companies were in control. They set the price. They educated the buyers. They negotiated from a position of power.

That’s not the case anymore. The tables have turned. It’s “Seller Beware.”

Your customers hold the power. They know as much or more about your products and services as your salespeople. And your customers are savvy, well-educated buyers with access to an inordinate amount of information.

Like it or not, sales has changed.

Access to information changed everything

The transition from Buyer Beware to Seller Beware happened because of access to information.

The Internet and mobile technologies shifted the power away from companies to customers. The average person is walking around with a computer in their pocket that has access to high speed internet. Your customers have all the tools they need to get informed and make smart decisions.

But more importantly, access to information increased consumer confidence.

Buyers are happy to challenge companies. They are happy to ask for more information. And if they’re not satisfied with the buying experience, they know they can easily find another firm that will service their needs.

Customers may not know everything, but they know they can find everything.

Facilitate the buying process

In a Seller Beware marketplace direct sales tactics are ineffective. It’s off putting to feel like you’re being sold.

Train your team to stop selling and start facilitating. You can’t lose a customer when you are helping them make the right decisions.

In many cases your customers know what they want, but they need help making the right decisions. They want to work with experts who can guide them and support them through the buying process. They want to work with companies that make their lives a little bit easier.

Give them that support by facilitating the buying process.

Make the experience memorable

Building a brand in a Seller Beware marketplace is challenging. Not only do you have to serve your customers, you have to leave a positive impression with them.

Break through the clutter by making the buying experience memorable. Find ways to delight your customers by being helpful, interesting, and truly valuable. Find ways to connect with your customers in a meaningful way so they think of your company first when they have a need.

You can’t stop the Seller Beware marketplace, but you can embrace it.

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