When I started my business 8 years ago, there was a lot of talk about how the internet was going to change selling.
Change it radically in some places and virtually eliminate it altogether in others.
Well the internet certainly has changed the way people do business together.
Just look at the property and car sales markets. Soo much more information is now available online that people can and do significantly self-educate themselves before ever engaging a sales person in these fields.
Business to business selling has also changed. Companies now push much more product info out through their websites enabling prospects to self-educate and self-select even more than they did before.
And as sellers the web has helped us too. It is now much easier to research and study our prospects before ever making that first sales call. In fact we are expected to that now.
But are sales people just information providers?
And do we have less power now because our prospects have more information about us?
I guess it depends on what you define as your source of power in selling.
If you were selling pre-internet, say 15 years ago, then you had a lot of control in certain fields just by acting as a gatekeeper of the information.
Only property agents had access to the listings, and the car sales guys held their cards close to their vest. You could get more detailed information *if* you knew how, but very few people knew how to do that.
Now anyone selling in these markets today has had to either adapt or get out. The salesman’s source of power in these markets is no longer as a gatekeeper of the information.
Information is essentially a low value commodity. Being a gatekeeper of it is not the source of power in sales.
There is lots of information out there, too much in fact, and people are overwhelmed. They can’t make sense of it all.
And that is where we come in as sales people.
Your power source is your ability to help people solve their problems. Help them make sense of all this information. And marshal the resources of your company to help them do it in the best way possible.
So yes the internet has changed things for us in sales.
If you are good at selling then these changes only help you. They help you because they bring more educated, qualified prospects to you.
And they help you because if you are a problem solver, you stand out against the other sales people who aren’t focused on problem solving and they try to get by on schmoozing.
This is what good, effective selling has always been about: problem solving and helping people make sense out of how to use what you sell to make their lives and businesses better.
This is what I have been teaching in my Persuasive Selling Skills Program for quite a few years now. Get a copy for yourself right now.
Sell with Pride,