Sales Strategies | New Rules of Sales & Service THEN It was very difficult for buyers to find independent information about the products and services that interested them. NOW Blogs, review sites, and social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn allow people all over the world to share content and connect with the companies they want to do business with. THEN There was no easy way for unhappy customers to voice disapproval of a company. NOW Because of independent product reviews and social networks, there is a huge incentive to fix problems. THEN Advertising.NOWContent. THEN The seller had more knowledge and therefore had the upper hand in negotiations. NOW Because of the infinite amount of information available on the web, buyers now have more information than sellers so buyers are in charge. THEN Sellers had little incentive to tell the truth about their offerings. NOW Buyers see through spin. THEN Companies used agencies to dream up messages. NOW People want authenticity, not propaganda. THEN Cold-calling was one of the most common methods for salespeople to contact prospective clients. NOW Buyers actively use search engines and social networks to find companies to do business with. THEN The seller was in charge of the sales cycle, parsing out details to buyers on the seller’s timetable. NOW When a buyer is ready to buy, the company must respond with lightning speed. THEN Salespeople used scripts to push buyers down a single well-defined path. NOW The best organizations customize the buying experience for each customer. THEN Jargon was rampant. NOW Buyers want to do business in language they understand. THEN Sellers delivered only proprietary information such as their company’s white papers and research reports. NOW Curated content is the link between companies and customers. THEN Buyers needed to ask the right questions. NOW Sales is about delivering content at the precise moment each buyer needs it. THEN People hate to be sold to, but in the old days they had no choice. NOW Today, people like to buy because they have far more choices than in the past! Hat Tip to Bob Lefsetz, one of my favorite writers, for the format of this post.