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Why your web site doesn't deliver customers the way you thought it would
[Newsletter 9]
Urgent, Important - Is there a marketing issue you are neglecting?
 

Old Selling Methods Don't Work in the Internet Era

The Internet is turning the world upside down. It's not just an extra tool to notch up information handling abilities. An E-business conference in Ottawa suggested some of the changes (see slide on right). However the impact is enormous on existing ways of doing things.

The Internet - an information explosion

Most people are now aware of the vast amount of information, which is now accessible via the World Wide Web. This of course is compounded by the comparably large amount of data, which governments and companies have amassed on their private intranets.

The Internet - everybody's doing it, �

May 3, 2001 - Presentation (Strategis Canada)

Electronic Commerce and Infrastructure
- Informatics Strategies Conference

Creating New Market Dynamics

Strategic business impact:

- Fuels development of new business models
- Shifts power from sellers to buyers

Slide 4 from a presentation given by
Richard Simpson, Director General,
Electronic Commerce Branch, Industry Canada

The rate at which individuals are getting connected to the Internet is increasing by leaps and bounds. Like having a telephone or a fax machine in their early days, there comes a point in time at which it is essential to have such equipment to be able to function. The Internet is at this point. If you are selling, you might even decide to market only to those who are Internet-connected. For most markets, you would pick up the majority, if not the totality, of the worthwhile customers.

The Internet - virtual conferences

We can now begin to see the start of some important trends developing as a result of the Internet. Sales conferences and exhibitions have always been a high cost way of selling. Now virtual conferences or market portals allow cyber-visitors to check out the wares of a whole variety of suppliers. Some have commented that the attendances at traditional sales exhibitions are beginning to fall.

The Internet - information overload

The Internet is not an unmitigated blessing. Although the purchaser is now in the driving seat, he or she is faced with an infinity of dials and displays on what is going on in the market place. The information is growing exponentially as search engines day and night add to their databases. As the poor purchaser tries to extract the relevant information, no wonder many are feeling stress and burn-out. The river of email messages that pour in to most business people are an additional burden. No wonder that many mass delete their incoming mail from time to time to stay sane. Others have powerful filter mechanisms to try to select the wheat from the chaff.

The Internet changes all the market rules

For many years the salesman or woman has had a tough job. The purchaser has rarely wished to meet them. They must leave a message on a telephone voice box to try to get in contact but calls are rarely returned. The Internet has now made an impossible task many times more difficult. Purchasers may feel they really don't need to interact with sales people at all. They can do their research and then place their order. Finally the purchaser is really in control.

The new selling skills required for the Internet age

To sell well in this new world, some new skills must be used. They relate to five major tasks to be accomplished:

1. You must identify who are your targeted market niche customers.
2. You must know them well enough that you understand what product / service combination they really need
3. You must be able to "package" that product / service combination so that it stands out from the competition
4. You must get their initial attention
5. From that initial interest, you must follow through on the sales cycle as you move them from potential purchasers who will give you some time to highly satisfied customers who rave about what you sell them

Several people have suggested how to tackle Step 5: for example, Seth Godin's book "Permission Marketing" lays out his views. However it is important to do the first four steps well if you are to succeed in Step 5.

If you wish to use this approach, SMM will be happy to work with you. Our help can be configured to meet exactly the needs you have. Our strengths, experience, creativity and practical common sense can complement those of your company. So write us a Fast Message today, , on what you're looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Copyright 2001 Barry Welford, Montreal, Quebec, Canada