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Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Engagement Selling in 2014 the era of 3.0

Happy 2014 !
Here’s my prediction for 2014

2014 will be an outstanding year for SELLING.

During 2014 Selling will increasingly focus on the challenges of selling to Client 3.0

The ‘S’ word ( selling) may not be used of course.

 We will as likely as not be told by the global management consultants, gurus and business pundits that we will all need to be

‘leveraging the digital ecosystem to engage with Client 3.0’

or some other such highfalutin gobbledegook.


In our business digital age clients have evolved from basic information hunter-gatherers to voracious information seekers addicted to the internet through a range of ‘gear’ such as PC, smart phones and tablets .

The supply side has to adapt its selling style to survive.

It has metamorphosed from a reactive educative cloistered home awaiting for the ‘faithful’ to attend their services to a proactive evangelical selling mission adventuring to their client’s home ground .

For some time the supply side has led a comfortable life acting as an auditioning impresario in their digital castle with a 1.0 mindset of “ find us on the internet.”

 Some business leaders thought there was no need to call clients because they would find them.

The supply side may have even thought they did not really need salespeople ! The function could be outsourced and digitalised.  After all, their thinking went, Sales is  just a process ( partly true) we can digitise  the process put it on ‘the cloud’ and sit back and see the money role in. But monetising the process side of selling is not the whole story. You have to sow as well as reap.

To adapt the Emmerson quote their philosophy went something like

“ If a man write a better ebook, preach a better podcast or build in better search engine optimisation, the world will Google their path to his website.”

The 2.0 era spawned Internet business where sales were generated and services were rendered on line. Some businesses were  entirely born from the internet  such as ebay and Amazon.

 2.0 where all or nearly was done on line. Client 2.0 had to dance to the suppliers ‘set of options’.

The selling side ( or marketing if you prefer)  employed  ‘command vocabulary ’  telling clients to

“ follow us on Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn”

The 2.0 environment was more akin to Thomas Lipton’s worldview 

“When a hen lays her eggs she clucks the news all round the farm yard but when a duck lays her eggs she does so in complete silence. –  Lipton asked “who the hell buys ducks eggs ?”

Social media has made the farmyard that bit noisier.

Now in the era of 3.0 Clients just won’t go to businesses. Just as we go less  to the store, more of us order on line and expect suppliers to deliver to our door.

In the era of 3.0 businesses have again to find clients, effectively engage and respond to a ‘want it now’ client attitude.

Once more the Client is back in the driving seat and professional selling is back big-time even it is now described as 'leveraging the digital ecosystem to engage with Client 3.0’. :)

What’s the anatomy of Client 3.0?

  • Mobile Informed
  • Socially connected
  • Put their trust in the Crowd
  • Price sensitive as ever / price knowledgeable
  • Self promoting (era of the  Selfie )

  •  'Mobile' Informed -  but Client 3.0 is watching less TV, reading fewer newspapers. Source -media report 79 % of smart phone owners use their device for purchasing. In the retail space 70% of smart phone owners use their device in store.
  • 'Do social' in the office and round and about. 20% use their PC for social and 30% use their mobile. They ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘follow’ and ‘subscribe’.
  • 'Trust' the Crowd   Word of mouth is the primary influencer at 71% above their own past experience 63%, advertising comes in at 15% along with PR and Direct marketing
  • Price sensitive as ever / price knowledgeable
  • Self promoting  we are living in an era of the  Selfie.  Presidents, Prime ministers  and even the Pope have all selfied ( I guess it will become a verb if it is not already) 

Question: What must sales do in this 3.0 world  ?

Answer: Learn to Engage Sell in 2014

  1. Listen. Learn from your clients every day and adapt accordingly.

  1. Engage. Enter into a dialogue to grow your community ( formally known as Planned business development of your customer base)

  1. Act. Develop innovation and earn their trust and build loyalty

  1. When they threaten to buy Close !



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