‘Marry’ the online buyer- he has control


What does this mean? It means that insisting that the employee must be in a suit when attending a ‘Zoom meeting’ will only frustrate you, the employer. You can’t control that.

Accept and move on. You are no longer in control.

This is a bitter pill for most sellers to swallow. Yet now, more than ever, as buyers move online, they should- whether they choke on it, or not.

Conspiring like three musketeers, accelerating technologies, the pervasive internet and all-knowing social media have defined that, to pass a message, the seller won’t control that I must buy stamps, an envelope and rent a cubicle. I can now choose to do so if I want to; or, I can choose to send a text message, an email, a WhatsApp chat, a tweet, a Direct Message on Instagram, or, inbox the recipient on LinkedIn. I have options. All for free. The postal seller too has options.  He can choose to fervently pray to regain control. But, if he is wise, he knows this is tragicomedy like the play Waiting for Godot who never arrives. Or, the seller can accept the ground online is radically different from that offline and move on; that is, adapt accordingly. 

You see, the three musketeers have, at best, created an equal footing of access to information between seller and buyer. I mean, even rarefied professions like doctor, are being ‘challenged’ by lay patients like you and I, because we first consult the digital doctor (at home on the internet) ahead of visiting the traditional one (in his physical clinic).

At worst, the musketeers have firmly shifted the power balance from seller to buyer. Today, sellers don’t control the narrative; buyers do. The proof in the pudding of your claims in your million-shilling promotion, will be validated (or not) with what your buyers promote of it on Facebook. So too, your reputation as righteous gospel artist versus your vulgar spewing ‘phone recording, insulting a buyer that’s spreading on WhatsApp like COVID-19.  Where am I going with all this? As buyers and sellers go online, this one thing needs to be clear-sellers are no longer in control.

What does this mean? It means that insisting that the employee must be in a suit when attending a ‘Zoom meeting’ will only frustrate you the employer. You can’t control that. Instead, continually engaging him on the importance of maintaining professionalism online and moving along the learning curve of this foreign business environment we are all roaming, with a hope of emerging in Canaan, is a better gambit. It means that complaining that your drills can only be offered offline, will lead buyers to a YouTube video showing suction hooks for hanging pictures as an alternative to your drills. It means sharing regular information the buyer needs and generally walking with him through this foreign land, stands you a much better chance of attracting him to you and consequently making a sale.

It means that, unless you are a conman, ‘flings’ as a way of selling are a steep climb, online; ‘seeking the buyer’s hand in marriage’, on the other hand, is a much more attractive and sustainable proposition.

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