What Are Yesterday’s Sales Tools?
When asked about successful selling today, cold calling is not at the top of the list. However, in the past, it would have easily ranked top. Why the change? Well, today people are extremely turned off by sales people and cold calling. It used to be that having a sales rep walk through the door meant that you were going to learn the newest and greatest gadgets or services that was going to help you to stay competitive and broaden your business. So, in light of that, people were more inclined to take the time to listen to a salesperson give their pitch.
Why Are These Not Working?
In contrast, today’s buyers are more educated. They have the internet, LinkedIn, and other networking capabilities that people did not have in times past. Now they already know what is available, what the pricing should be, and where to get it. Frankly, they don’t need a sales person walking through the door…until they are ready!
What Are the New Sales Tools?
If not having a salesperson busting through the door once a week is how people want to do business these days, how are salespeople supposed to attract people? Well, remember how I said, “until they are ready?” This is really the key. Today’s sales tools are about knowing when they are ready.
People search for things online and through blogging, social media, and other online tools, companies are found by prospects everyday. When these people are searching, they are leaving breadcrumbs about what their intentions are and what they really want, aside from the thing that they searched for.
If someone is searching for “how to tell if your brake pads are worn out” and end up on your blog, then they are seeking information. If they are searching for “brake installation companies in (your town)” and they land on your site, it is easy to assume that their brake pads are worn out and they need service. This means that they are at a later stage in the buyer’s journey. All of this information is critical in online marketing and lead generation.
Should I Quit My Outbound Efforts?
In terms of switching your marketing methodology, don’t think that I am suggesting that you completely turn off your outbound efforts overnight. I am not implying that. It takes a little time to get inbound working well and you probably have some level of business coming through your existing efforts and I am not saying that you should turn that off. However, getting started with inbound is becoming increasingly important, because less and less prospects want to be sold to by a salesperson. Additionally, the younger generations are more tech savvy and have a preference to find their own solutions online.
Getting started with Inbound is a fairly straight forward process, when you think about it in terms of connecting with prospects how they want to be connected with and offering value from start to finish. To better understand Inbound and how to get started, I wrote a series of blog posts. These blog posts can be accessed in order via this Inbound Overview page.