Best Practices in HR
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David Meerman Scott
  May 26, 2016

Sales & Marketing Basics: Align With The Way People Buy

The way people buy has changed.

We’re fed up with unwanted phone calls interrupting us at home and at work. We hate wading through hundreds of unsolicited emails. We’ve had it with intrusive social media messages. We’re tired of poor service from companies that don’t treat us with respect or that send us into a phone mail maze that wastes minutes of our time and never connects us with a living person.

At the same time, all of us — you, me, and all our existing and potential customers — turn to the web to solve problems.

Buyers are in charge

The idea of mystery in the sales process is over. We research someone online before agreeing to a first date—is he a creep? We fire up LinkedIn an hour before an initial business meeting—does she have anyone I know in her network? We watch an on-demand movie trailer before deciding which film to see that night at the theater. We check out restaurant reviews and browse menus before booking a reservation.

There’s a huge disconnect between the way people research products and services they are interested in and the way companies market and sell.

Bring your marketing and sales into alignment

We’ve got to educate and inform instead of interrupting and selling.

The good news is the Web has liberated us from the tyranny of paying for attention! There are four main ways to generate attention:

1) You can BUY attention (this is traditional advertising)

2) You can BEG for attention (this is traditional media relations)

3) You can BUG people one at a time to get attention (this is traditional sales)

4) Or you can EARN attention online by creating great information that your buyers want to consume such as YouTube videos, blogs, Twitter feeds, photographs, infographics, charts, graphs, and ebooks—and it is all free.

Best of all, we can communicate with buyers in real-time, reaching them at the precise moment they’re interested in what we have to offer.