The times they are a changin’

The way consumers buy has dramatically shifted over the last 5 years. The empowered consumer now has 80%+ of the information they need before their first contact with the brand.

I had the opportunity to sit down for a conversation with Revenue coach Kristin Zhivago. Kristin is the author of “Roadmap to Revenue – How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy.” The book* provides a step-by-step guide on how to align your marketing and sales based on the needs of your customers.

Here is the video of our 10 minute discussion:

Key Takeaways:

  • The buying process has changed. A tsunami of change has occurred over the last year. Consumers use social media to connect with other buyers. They use those platforms first to find out more about brands they are interested in. Google is now #3 in the process.
  • Customers have almost everything they need before there first contact with a brand. They are only coming to get specific questions answered or to inquire about price.
  • There is a gap between the way companies think about what the customers needs. . . and actually what the customer actually thinks. The overall list and the priority is always different.
  • There are three steps in the Roadmap to Revenue. The 3 D’s are discover, debate and deploy. Discover is reaching out to customers and talking to them about their needs. Debate is about getting together internally to figure out what needs to get fixed and what needs to get promoted. Deploy is about making any necessary changes and putting the plan into action.
  • The difference between branding and a brand. Great quote by Kristin, “Branding is the promise you make… you brand are the promises you keep.” The actual experience of the customer is your Brand. Not what you say it is, but what the customer believes it is and shares with others.
  • There are 5 components to the PROMISE. They are the 5 P’s: Product, People, Passion, Policies and Procedures. The procedures is the one area that small business to the largest corporations struggle with.
  • Don’t be afraid of the truth. Talk to your customers. Everything is fixable and its mostly small tweaks. The little things can make the biggest difference.

This books applies to both small and big business, whether you are a Fortune 100 CEO or the chief cook/waiter/bottle washer. Everyone needs to align themselves closer to the customer. I’d highly recommend picking “Roadmap to Revenue” up.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here is Eddie Vedder covering the classic Dylan tune. Lyrics are for lagniappe. Classic line, “Expect soon that you’ll be drenched to the bone . . . well, you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone. For the times they are a-changin”

* Disclaimer – I received a review copy