We owe you a mea culpa…. We’ve been seller driven, not buyer driven. We’ve focused on selling you what we think you need (what we sell) versus helping you make better decisions. We haven’t helped you make the business case for why this is a significant problem. We’ve automated our marketing systems to better reach you, but never asked if or what you’re interested in. We’ve treated you as a company, not as a group of individuals with different needs, perspectives, and roles. We don’t know what a “day in your life” looks like to give us context as to why you don’t have the time to sit through our “canned” presentation, educate us on your business, and sift through all of our market claims.
I know, you’ve been trying to tell us for a while. You sent out a letter telling all of your vendors that their sales people aren’t allowed onsite anymore. You deleted all of your voice mail messages without listening to them, only giving your mobile# to the folks you want to talk to. You don’t respond to cold calls, even your gatekeepers have gatekeepers. You don’t show up at events because you don’t want to be bombarded by sales people. You have your admin go through the 400 emails you get a day, deleting most of them along the way. You’re tired of all of the generic content being pushed out through social media. And so on.
In isolation, we can always find a reason (excuse) to explain it away and justify why it’s OK for us to keep doing what we’re doing. But in combination, there’s an underlying trend here and you’re sounding the alarm. For one vendor, in the past 90 days, 40% of their “potential” market (email list) opted-out, globally. Stop the bus. I get it. You’re on information overload, trying to come up for air in these oversaturated markets and you’re fed up. I don’t blame you. When I’m the buyer in this scenario, so am I. So, I hear you and you’re absolutely right. It can no longer be about us, it’s got to be about you. It’s about time we “snap out of it” and take a buyer driven approach, a 180-degree shift from the way we’re marketing to you today.
In order to deliver on these rights, we have evolved through social media, social marketing and are now moving into a post-social world. So, what’s the difference between seller and buyer driven?
Seller Driven vs. Buyer Driven
Potential vs. Motivational
Demographic vs. Psychographic
Campaign vs. Momentum
Opt-out vs. Opt-in
Transactional vs. Educational
Product Benefits vs. Customer Impact
Commonality vs. Differences
Ambassador vs. Evangelist
Macro vs. Micro
Adoptive vs. Adaptive
Company Solution vs. Buyer Decision
Being buyer driven doesn’t mean that you lose your competitive edge, but rather the opposite. By focusing more on finding buyers who really need and want to buy from us, we’re more effective at acquiring customers at a lower cost. Motivation and pain are more critical than “potential market” when it comes to closing sales. Who knew? We can hold our sales and marketing teams accountable through the integration of social, web, and CRM to measure, metric and track every step of the way.
The Social Executive Council is a microcosm of what’s going on in the larger world. Once we flipped to focus exclusively on buyer decision support, you’ve shared how this is helping you change perspectives, sell this within your companies and is the peer validation for your decision making. We’re seeing these same shifts in every industry. With social, the ability to become buyer driven is transformative and the wave of the future. No more “look at me” SPAM messaging over social, no more creative campaigns to nowhere, no more untargeted messaging. If it doesn’t add value, if it doesn’t help you make a better decision, if it doesn’t make us easier to do business with; we continue to be part of the noise problem instead of the solution.