How to Embrace Today's Buyer, Stand Out, and Build an Amazing Business in the Digital Age
Friday morning’s session opened up with a bang, and to say that web marketing guru, Marcus Sheridan has a bit of passion for what he does, may be the understatement of the year. The very energetic Sheridan opened up his session with the question, “What business are you in?” After a few non-plus answers and some clarifications, Sheridan then asked if, as marketers, we were in the same business as a car salesman. Many laughed and made a few car salesman jokes, but Sheridan continued, wondering why is a car salesman considered the “lowest of the low”?
The answer was simple. Sheridan determined with help from the conference goers that the process had failed them. The next example Sheridan gave was the story of CarMax. Instead of succumbing to all of the previous failures the used-car industry had dealt with, CarMax chose to rise above their situation and show their customers how valuable they were to have them as a dealership. Because of the simple solution to show consumers they were working on rebuilding trust, CarMax rose to the top.
Sheridan continued that when you remove all of the negative connotations from the buying cycle, the only thing left is trust. At this point, Sheridan had each member of the audience write down seven reasons people wouldn’t work with your company. Once we had written it down, Sheridan said, “This is your business. These are the things you have to eliminate fear and build trust.” If you can do that, Sheridan stated, answer those questions and post that on your website, you can improve your business tenfold. If your company becomes the source of answers for those who have questions, you become the leaders in that industry.
6 Fundamental Qualities
Sheridan said there are six fundamental qualities businesses need to take advantage of in order to succeed:
- Understand the difference between principles and platforms. Principles are forever, but platforms come and go.
- 70% of the decision is made before first contact. It’s not about closing anymore, because customers have already made up their made about your company.”
- Management and employee buy-in. Embrace “insourcing.” Use the talent you already have.
- Don’t treat digital like a beta test. Get everyone involved and go all in.
- Understand that we’re all media companies, whether we like it or not. Sheridan says if you get on the video platform today, you’ll be ready for the virtual reality platform tomorrow.
- Understand that it’s a “sales” and not a “marketing” conversation. Sell that message to the people at the inside of the company just as much as to the people at the outside of the company.
Lastly, Sheridan discussed the idea of making your content useful. When you answer the questions customers have about your company, your sales team now has more information to use in creating sales. You want to give them all the tools necessary so that they can succeed.