The 21st C customer affects your selling in insidious ways.  In fact, he just won’t tell you this, but he really doesn’t need you. Truth is, he doesn’t trust you. Let me explain. As the seller at the stall at Kenyatta Market went on and on about the virtues of the Kailas rucksack, the prospect was busy checking it out online on his phone.

What were the reviews on Amazon? What were the comments on Facebook (and YouTube and Quora)? And what else did bottomless repository Google have to say about the Kailas rucksack? Which of the two do you suppose the buyer went with to determine whether to buy the rucksack or not? I can tell you with certainty that it wasn’t the seller’s pitch. I know because I was the buyer. This is a typical of characteristics of the 21stC customer. They trust what other customers say. Not you, the seller.

Read: Avoid high pressure selling: Use this 10:80:10 doctor’s prescription

How the attitudes of the 21st C customer affects selling

The attitudes of 21st C customer are far flung from those of the last century’s. Then, the buyer was resigned to fate. He didn’t hold the salesperson in high regard but alas, as the Waswahili say, Baniani mbaya kiatu chake dawa. He may not have liked the salesperson but needed his information. At best the buyer’s feeling towards the seller was that of tolerance. Then the 21st C rolled in and the internet equalised the balance of power.

21st c customer affects selling

Now, I find myself asking my niece that is in campus, “What value is it adding to your knowledge when you are given an assignment to discuss the charisma of Adolf Hitler when a Google search will likely show you someone that has already done this paper?” And she agrees: “In fact”, she tells me, “Google Scholar has it.” Now the lecturer of last century knew and the student didn’t. This century, it’s Google Scholar that knows and both have equal access to it.

This doesn’t mean the 21st C teacher (seller) is unnecessary; it just means that he must reinvent himself to remain relevant. He can’t for instance, regurgitate his notes year in, year out, as many lecturers did during my time. However, instead of telling us about Vasco da Gama’s ‘discovery’ of Malindi in 1492 (I think it  was, confirm with Google) he can use Vasco da Gama’s exploit’s to discuss risk taking!

Read: Evolve to modern selling, through quality customer engagements

Empower sales people to cope

This therefore brings about the importance of empowering customer service providers. That’s you, the seller. Seeing as customers are no more relying on sales to know about your products or services, and that they expect the stellar service they see online from you, what to do? Instead of restaurant or bar owners, for instance, penalising waiters for ‘errors’ by customers, they should empower them instead. ‘I asked for a warm not cold beer. I don’t care if it’s open. Return it.’ Imagine how the empowered waiter would feel to know he can make up to 3 such mistakes every night un-penalized. And more importantly, how much the business would benefit for being the go-to place where customers feel felt.

How is the 21st C customer affecting your selling?

Rad: Again. In The Internet Age, “I’ve Always Sold This Way” Is Dead In The Water

If you would like to have your sales team sell more, or your institution be more strategically customer centric, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

Views – 520

About Author

Related posts

Avoid high pressure selling: Use this 10:80:10 doctor’s prescription

To avoid high pressure selling, salespeople should take a page from the playbook of doctors when it comes to engaging with customers. Think back to your last visit to a doctor. As a percentage of the duration you took, what would you give for how long he took to prescribe? Better still, split the engagement

Read More

3 Reasons for sales resistance and what you can do to overcome it

Embrace resistance from prospects as a norm in selling. It is the rare prospect who opens his arms wide to be sold to. Even when wearing the prospect’s hat, a salesperson acts in that precise fashion-he resists. Examples of sales resistance include the customer avoiding you, or declining your request for appointment. It can also be

Read More

How to handle an angry customer if you are a salesperson

“If they are not there by the time I arrive, cancel the contract!” So fumed the Operations Director of the shipping line that was also this travel agent’s largest client. The salesperson knew the consequences of losing this contract. He’d lose his job too. (A (non) fun fact. If you are a salesperson, there are

Read More
Stay ahead in a rapidly changing world with Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Free! Most sales newsletters offer tips on “What” to do. But, rarely do they provide insight on exactly “How” to do it. Without the “How” newsletters are a waste of time.