One of the biggest tips is to interview your customers. This is a definite part of my approach. How else do you know what your customers want? How they look for your services? What was their buying path?
Kristin states that search engines, have lost their appeal. Buyers have changed their behavior and now turn to friends and social network communities to help them decide who to hire. Especially for service based businesses they ask questions on Linkedin Groups and look for recommendations. Consumers looking for products are going to Pinterest for the product recommendations.
“In the last year or so, something switched. I was interviewing customers for my clients, and instead of saying [they go to Google when starting the buying process] they started saying something else,” she says. “What they said was, ‘Well, first I go to friends. I go to people I know on LinkedIn.’ Basically they were saying look, I found people like me in social networks.”
“They may make their entire buying decision without ever talking to a salesperson or even going to a website. They may reject somebody because so many people have said, ‘No, don’t go to them because they say this, but they actually do that,'” she says.
Now buyers turn to their friends, they get a short list of providers, and then they go to the web.
“Buyers have these customer recommendation engine communities, and they use those to find out who they should be going to, who they can trust, who’s got the good stuff. And then that’s how they shop,” Zhivago says.
Marketers and sellers need to wake up to this, she says. They can’t pretend buyer behavior hasn’t changed. If they ignore it, they won’t be part of their conversations and won’t have a clue about what buyers really want.
Listen as Zhivago discusses:
- How buyer behavior has changed
- What marketers must do to adapt to this behavior
- The importance of thought leadership in the new buyer environment
- Why you need to ask current customers about their experience working with you
- Common mistakes service firms make