More than ever, selling to 21st century customers
requires an emotionally satisfying connection between seller and buyer. That emotional engagement needs to migrate
into rapport, empathy and trust. The seller must maintain a consistent and dependable
emotional connection with the buyer in order for trust to be possible. Customers don’t
buy from people they don’t trust, so a successful emotional engagement is essential to every
sale. Let’s taking a quick look at what makes
21st century customers different. While some of the facts on the ground are shaped by a
record setting economic downturn, other market factors appear to have changed forever. It’s easy to see that the B2C selling process
is changing rapidly. We live in a time where you have, on average, 130 Facebook friends.
As a result you value the opinions of your social media network and have learned to devalue
or ignore the claims of any salesperson. Insert side asset 2
* When asked what sources “influence your decision to use or not use a particular company,
brand or product” 71% claim reviews from family members or friends exert a “great deal”
or “fair amount” of influence. * 53% of people on Twitter recommend companies
and/or products in their Tweets, with 48% of them delivering on their intention to buy
the product. * 61% of people rely on user reviews for product
information or research before a buying decision is made. Because of escalating skepticism, the decision
making process has changed and selling has changed as well. Salespeople are no longer
the gatekeepers of information. Consumers initiate dialog only when they are ready to
talk. They spend time on the Internet to learn your products, services, policies and prices.
They also look at your social reputation and the ratings of your company by other consumers. B2C selling has changed from making sales
pitches to learning how to engage in conversations. To succeed you must learn how to establish
rapport and trust. To do this you must be personal, plainspoken, positive and plausible.
Establishing an authentic emotional connection to customers is the best way to succeed in
today’s more skeptical and informed B2C world. It’s imperative that sales professionals
actively listen, engage, and add value to the customer conversation.