As seen in Chart 1, The Digital Buyer is very different than the 20th Century Buyer about how they will gather information, weigh priorities and make decisions.
Let the buyers’ needs lead the dance
I grew up in a rural environment and we went to community dances just about every weekend. We learned how to two-step to country music, Cotton-eyed Joe, Polka and the waltz. The names of the dances are of little importance, but they were instructive about community and people. We understood as children that dancing with a partner where you had to collaborate in real time was just a different exprience. A waltz can get pretty messy if you can’t collaborate on the fly. Sometimes in our rural community, we would get visitors from out of town who didn’t know the different dances. In dancing with another person it was polite to gently lead if a dance is new to one of the partners. If the partners dance often together, they learn to anticipate to the point that no one is leading. You are now both in the flow and people watch you with admiration. I have seen couples who have been married for years dancing together and becoming such a blur on the floor you would think it were one person. When you can dance at that level, you would just as soon not dance with anyone else.
Let’s suppose in working with the buyer, the provider starts leading the dance by insisting on what their selling needs are. It is at this point that both parties will start stepping on each other’s feet because the Digital Buyer’s expectation is that they should naturally lead in a world of too many choices. The smart thing to do is to let the buyer lead until you can anticipate...
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...er’s revenue generation approach has to be transformed for this educated group. Going into an account and selling the vision of what a provider has may have worked when it was understood that the information was centrally controlled, but those days are gone. Sophisticated organizations and educated buyers rely on process, information and metrics to optimize decisions and this is not the time to ignore reality.
Take a quick look at the changing U.S. educational landscape. Add this to a more educated global population that will work at a lower salary in countries like China, India and Eastern Europe. You can begin to see how competitive it will be for the buyers of the future who are in important positions of influence. The buyers need to make good decisions because there are more people waiting to sit in their chair. The pressure to choose well is apparent.
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