Written by William G. Handlos, P.E.
In the past, salesmen were hunters who would pursue customers with cold calls, emails and office visits to help them understand how problems could be solved with product line offerings. They would qualify opportunities, perform a needs analysis and pitch their value proposition to the identified decision maker. After the pitch, a price proposal would be made and if the solution was perceived a fit – negotiations would ensue and the job would be won or lost.
The salesman controlled the buying process.
If you haven’t noticed, there is a significant shift occurring in the sales process. Now, the customer does internet research and is well into the decision process before we even get the chance to meet them. Information that they find on websites, blogs, digital industry trade publications, and discussion boards about the products we offer supplies them content they use to form opinions and make decisions to either contact you….or to move on and continue their search,… perhaps with a competitor. The graphic below from Inboundsales.net says it all.
We all have at our disposal – a matchmaking service called Google® (and others) that connect us in mere seconds. As a result, we can spend less time finding each other and more time helping to solve problems together. This is as true for consumer goods as it is for geosynthetics and engineered solutions. But in order for this match making service to work, manufacturers and their distributors must be seen and need to be worthy of being seen on search engines.
Presto Geosystems offers free engineering evaluations; dozens of case studies, installation & design videos, and specification building and design software to provide our customers a complete toolkit and allow them to solve problems quickly. We are blessed to be supported by industry digital periodicals, publications and social media rebroadcast sites. Customers seek content and so content is king. Content attracts customers and valuable service delivery to customers creates relationships that build trust. Those experiences build credibility and are reflected in strong peer reviews and in successes that are noticed by a content driven internet.
It is easy to tell the difference between those who are just selling materials and those who sell solutions. I am happy to see the world is moving to a place where value matters and we can spend more energy on solving problems and less time on finding one another.