We’re digging back into the newsletter archives to bring the Q&A with real entrepreneurs to a wider audience.
This is from 2015, but the information here is more relevant than ever!
Let’s get right to it…
QUESTION: “Hi Charlie, my products used to sell every day, predictably, and with no effort whatsoever. It was that way for years, then all of a sudden, it stopped. Now I have to work hard for every sale, and unless I’m doing a promotion, nothing’s selling. Any explanation why?”
Yes, there is an explanation… And you’re not the only one who experienced this change.
You see, even though consumers have been using the internet regularly since the mid-to-late 90s, it wasn’t until 2010 that it played a significant role in the way consumers made buying decisions.
At last count, 81% of B2C consumers go online before making a purchase…
Now, ask yourself: would you guess that the statistic is higher or lower for B2B consumers?
I actually had one naïve person trying to convince me that (just because he doesn’t go online to make business decisions) nobody in B2B used the Internet for buying decisions…
He claimed they were different.
But according to the State of B2B Procurement Study, 94% of business buyers do some form on online research.
And here’s the kicker:
In 2013, the average person consulted 12 sources before finally making a purchase.
Compare that to 2010, when the average buyer only checked 5 sources…
“And in 2014, when there are nearly 18 billion desktop searches a month according to comScore, consumers are taking in more information than ever to make smarter buying choices.” –Source: Brafton
You see, people used to rely on word-of-mouth or buy from the people and stores they trusted… But all that has changed.
Now consumers want to be empowered to know they’re making the smartest purchase decision – one that will best meet their needs and at the fairest price.
So, what do you do to compete?
It starts with helping people find the information they need – directly on your website or in your store – to empower them to make a smart decision.
For online… Consider webinars, whitepapers, free reports, videos, articles, etc. These may also tie into your marketing funnel.
For offline… Brochures, articles, reports, videos… here’s a great example from an auto dealership that “gets it”:
It’s a banner that compares their prices with the prices of all their competitors. It’s transparent, builds trust, empowers the consumer, and best of all, shortens the buying cycle and increases conversions.
Progressive Insurance has been using the same strategy for years:
Know what products and services you’re being compared to, and let your consumers know how you stack up, how you uniquely serve them, and why you’re the smart choice!
Hope that helps!
In your corner,