Sales POP - Purveyors of Propserity
The Salesperson Expert versus the Web-Educated Buyer
Blog / For Sales Pros / Aug 19, 2018 / Posted by David Meerman Scott / 1340 

The Salesperson Expert versus the Web-Educated Buyer

0 comments

Prior to the ability for consumers to research products, services, people, and companies on the web and social media, salespeople needed to be the expert. The buyer didn’t have the ability to go online and conduct independent research; an important aspect of the sales process was the buyer’s education by the seller.

Now, your salespeople should assume that they are the last place a buyer goes, not the first. They must assume that very little of their knowledge is proprietary.

Facilitate the sale, don’t control the information

To illustrate the point about how salespeople used to hold the power position when they were keepers of information, think about the process of buying a car in 1990. You’d be exposed to television and magazine ads. Perhaps you’d purchase a buyers’ guide such as Consumer Reports. You could ask friends and coworkers for advice. But to get detailed information on models, options, and pricing required a dreaded visit to the dealership to talk to the salesperson, who was smugly aware he had all the information power.

Today, how do you buy a car? Do you blindly go to visit the dealership to ask the salesperson? Or do you spend hours on the web learning as much as you can and only visit the dealer when you are ready to buy and already know everything you need to get a good deal?

Remarkably, many companies are still operating in a world as if the salesperson is the king of the information kingdom. Companies insist on driving all online interactions to a salesperson.

Make your content free

One manifestation of this behavior is the insistence by most companies that buyers supply personal details—particularly an email address—before they can get information such as a white paper. When I question marketers about this practice, they tell me that they need sales leads and that salespeople follow up on the information requests.

This is far less effective than making information freely available to be downloaded and shared. And it risks losing potential customers who are wary of providing their email address out of fear that it will be recycled and sold to data brokers and spammers.

The idea that you shouldn’t give information for free predates the web. Requiring an email registration is simply applying what we did in the past to the new realities. There is a new lead generation calculus.

Are you managing your sales and marketing process using 1995 calculus? Do you assume that salespeople are the fonts of all knowledge and all information flows through them? If so, I think you are less successful than you could be.

Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.

    About Author

    David Meerman Scott He’s a sales and marketing strategist who has spoken on all seven continents and in 40 countries to most respected firms, organizations and associations.David is author of ten books - three are international bestsellers – and is best known for “The New Rules of Marketing & PR”.

    Author's Publications on Amazon

    In failing to provide visitors with great information content, most of today's Web sites are missing a golden opportunity to create loyal customers-and leaving a fortune in new and repeat business on the table. According to Web marketing expert David Meerman Scott, too many marketers…
    Buy on Amazon
    In July 1969, ninety-four percent of American televisions were tuned to coverage of Apollo 11's mission to the moon. How did space exploration, once the purview of rocket scientists, reach a larger audience than My Three Sons? Why did a government program whose standard operating…
    Buy on Amazon
    Launch effective real-time communications to win in today's always-on world Gone are the days when you could plan out your marketing and public relations programs well in advance and release them on your timetable. "Real-time" means news breaks over minutes, not days. It means companies…
    Buy on Amazon
    The international bestseller—now in a new edition When it comes to marketing, anything goes in the Digital Age, right? Well, not quite. While marketing and public relations tactics do seem to change overnight, every smart businessperson knows that it takes a lot more than the…
    Buy on Amazon
    The essential roadmap for the new realities of selling when buyers are in charge Sales and service are being radically redefined by the biggest communications revolution in human history. Today buyers are in charge! There is no more 'selling'—there is only buying. When potential customers…
    Buy on Amazon
    This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you are giving consent to cookies being used. For information on cookies and how you can disable them, visit our privacy and cookie policy.