Black Friday sure has grown. It has gone from an unofficial day to shop on the day after Thanksgiving, to an event where people camp out in the cold the night before.  Recently, customers were happy to hear about deals days early via so called internet “leaks.” Customers feel privileged to have the inside scoop on where and when the best deals are coming. One company that specializes in online marketing revealed that 60% of their information is not a leak at all. This inside information is actually a carefully planned marketing strategy designed to make customers feel special. One marketing representative disclosed that we do plan our leaks because we want to “help,” our customers find the best deals.

 

This is a strategy we should follow as sales professionals. The internet and information highway have changed selling forever. Anyone with a computer can look up any information they need and learn how your product works. The days where we deliver step by step presentations are gone. People don’t have as much time and often view presentations as time consumers that only benefit the presenter. Everyone wants to buy; they just don’t want to be sold. Our job is to become a trusted consultant whose sole purpose is to help our customers.  Today’s sales representatives have to obtain more knowledge than anyone else. We then must use this knowledge to determine how we can benefit our customers. Buyers need to grow their business and be more efficient. It is our duty to know their business so well that we can offer solutions and tips that our competitor can not. It is our goal to become the person they refer to when they have an issue or need information. “Black Friday” customers appreciate leaks because they feel privileged. Everyone wants to feel important and special.  If you stand out as their pro bono consultant, you may be invited in when your competition is locked out. In short, your customers don’t want a salesperson. They want a trusted company insider that can provide them with exclusive information, relevant to enhancing their business.

 

Maybe we should view our job as though we were a lifeguard and someone in our pool was starting to drown. Would we stand on the side and give a demonstration on how to swim or would we dive in and save them? Let’s stop being presenters and become savers.

 

 

Dion Harding