By Mo Kanwischer, Momentum Business Consulting. Reposted with permission.
According to a recent survey amongst 1000 small businesses, the top 10 most effective marketing strategies are:
- Email marketing
- Website (content and SEO)
- In-person interactions
- Social media
- Outbound calling (lead generation)
- Direct mail
- Traditional advertising (TV, radio, print, etc.)
As I read these results, the contrast between the top three results piqued my interest. Two of the top three are web based. No surprise there – particularly with ubiquitous web searching and so many well accepted messaging platforms.
What I found interesting is the strong result of in-person interactions with a 68% efficiency rating. Focusing just on B2B respondents, the in-person interaction increases to 75% effective – increasing it to the #2 ranking. Proof that people still like buying from people.
Why are in-person interactions so important?
It is important because the of the trust factor. When a buyer is faced with a non- commodity purchase, personal interaction plays a huge role in convincing the buyer s/he will make the right decision. They trust that the seller has their best interest at heart and trust the seller to make the proper recommendation to solve their problem.
Buyers crave relationships with sellers. They want to ask the questions they need to have answered for their situation. They want to feel good about their purchase. They want to brag about the smart decision they made. They want to know that the relationship doesn’t end when the credit card is processed.
When trust becomes the basis of the sales transaction, the buyer is definitely less concerned with price and more concerned with the outcome. When buying a commodity and no service is required to complete the transaction, there is no need for the in-person experience. In this case, your only competitive advantage is lowest price.
In a B2B transaction, this concept is heightened because if a buying mistake is made, there are repercussions with co-workers or bosses that might threaten your job. On the flip side, accolades are given when a good buy takes place.
Buyers want value. Most buyers value the in-person salesmanship of a human because they trust someone else’s expertise is helping them make the best choice.
Your email marketing and welcoming and informative website will bring the buyer to your door. Then it is up to your in-person relationship building to make the sale. There is simply no substitute for the in-person buying experience and the trust it instills.
Another way to look at the results:
About the Author
Maureen (Mo) is an experienced facilitator and enjoys helping business owners, executives and leaders reach their full potential and realize their own definition of success. Committed to life-long learning, she thrives when challenged with an issue and enjoys the process of defining a problem, shaping solutions and executing a plan of action.
Learn more about Mo at http://www.MomentumBC.com