Why Sales and Service Are Experiencing a Revolutionary Transformation?

Today it's up to the customer when they want to engage a salesperson. If I'm interested

in buying something, I go to the web, I go to Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn, and I ask

my friends and colleagues and family members for advice. I go to a half-dozen websites

and do research. When I'm finally good and ready and I've built up my body of

knowledge, I reach out, typically electronically through email, and say, “Hey, I'm

interested to go to the next step,” and almost always the salesperson who calls me

assumes I know nothing. Most organizations are still using traditional selling and

service models that were developed decades ago. This needs to change, or your

organization will suffer.


Just as online content is the primary driver for successful marketing and public

relations, online content is quickly becoming a dominant driver for sales and service

as well.


Restoring the Human Touch: The Compelling Power of Authenticity:


People want to do business with other people. That's been true since the beginning of

time. A hundred years ago our great-grandparents knew the people who sold them

hardware or shoes or chickens. There was a personal touch. If there was good service at

a fair price and maybe a kind word and a smile, you had a business relationship that

lasted for many years.


However, during the past several decades huge companies have been selling identical

products to millions of people via mass media advertising on television, and in the

process many companies have lost the human touch. Many smaller companies adopted

the mass media approach model for their own markets. Advertising agencies were hired

to develop “messages.” Salespeople memorized scripts. Top executives fretted about

financials, but not about customers.


Now, buyers can interact with anyone who is active in social media. They can see what

companies are doing. Who is engaged? Who will talk to me? Does anyone care?

We're back to a hundred years ago and the ability to converse with the person who is

selling. What can you tell me about this bike? Is this wet-suit good for scuba diving too,

or is it appropriate only for surfing? Which Antarctica expedition is best for me?

An authentic encounter with a representative from a company in a sales or service

situation humanizes an organization after decades of sameness.


The Importance of Story:


The best businesses have an organizational story that underlies everything they do. For

these outfits, that story and the resulting culture it builds mean that everybody—from

the CEO and the executives to the salespeople and support staff, even the person who

answers the telephone—are all delivering the same information.


By story, I don't mean making up a fairytale. No, rather the narrative should be a real

and authentic account of what the organization is all about. People associated with the

company should know these stories by heart and be able to convey them easily when the need arises. These might include a compelling account detailing how the company was founded. They could tell about employees who go out of their way to help customers, or could explain how the company's products are the most expensive in the market and the reasons why.


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