Today buyers are in charge. The idea of mystery in the sales process is over.
We research someone online before agreeing to a first date—is he a creep? We fire up LinkedIn an hour before an initial business meeting—does she have anyone I know in her network? We watch an on-demand movie trailer before deciding which film to see that night at the theater. We check out restaurant reviews and browse menus before making a booking.
We’re in a new world. But you know that because you’re living the new world every day.
I am in the process of moving the little office I work from in the Boston suburbs. It is a very simple move from the first floor to the second within the same building.
I researched moving companies in my area by doing a Google search that led me to visit their web sites. I also checked out review sites like Yelp. Within five minutes, I narrowed my search down from dozens of moving companies to three. To each of these three, and at about the same time, I sent an email through their “contact us” page which included my requirements, the dates and times I’d like to do the move, and photos of my current office so they could see the things I needed to be hauled upstairs.
One company reached me within about two hours, providing detailed information and a tentative price quote based on my email to them. Another company had its representative phone me about six hours after I sent my email and leave a voicemail asking me to call back. The third company, the one with the cheapest price, got back to me by email with a quote the next day.
Granted, my job is tiny for these moving companies. I’ll pay less than five hundred dollars for half a day’s work.
Guess who won my business?
It wasn’t the cheapest company. It wasn’t the one who left a voicemail asking me to call back. I chose to go with Big Foot Moving & Storage because they got back to me quickly and had detailed information based on what I provided. They didn't waste my time with back and forth nonsense.
It’s not about how you sell. It’s about how I buy.
I chose Big Foot because the story I told myself went something like this: “I don’t like waiting for service people to arrive. I want to have people do what they promise and I don’t mind paying a little extra to get better service.”
The company that got back to me the quickest won my business because in my mind, that was the company that was most likely to show up to my office on time and do the work as agreed.
Are the stories that buyers tell themselves in line with how you sell?
The move happens in a few weeks. I'll report back if there are any dramas.