Make no mistake. Do NOT kid yourself. If you are in sales, you are in the publishing business. It’s a new niche of the publishing world, but one that’s real, and more importantly, at the front end of virtually every buying process.
- Develop the various Strategies required to realize the organization’s Vision and Mission
- Design, implement and execute Business Processes to fulfill the Strategies
- Identify issues, constraints and problems with the Strategies
- Determine the Needs for addressing those issues, constraints and problems
- Identify Sources of Supply to fulfill those Needs
- Choose the optimal Source of Supply
- Buy, implement and maintain the “X” provided by that Source of Supply
OK, now pick any of those seven steps, and think about what the decision team will do. They’ll first tap into the knowledge and experience of team members. Next, they’ll assign one or more folks to fill in the knowledge gaps. (And there are ALWAYS knowledge gaps.) The assignee(s) will search the internet for insights and information to fill in the knowledge gaps.
I repeat, “…will search the internet for insights and information to fill in the knowledge gaps.”
There are all kinds of other actions for each stage of the buying process, but if you, the sales professional, are invisible for the internet search, consider yourself late to the party and relegated to playing catch-up – even worse – playing catch-up according to some competitor’s rules.
Somebody else will have already published something that captures the buyer’s imagination.
You have a better idea? Doesn’t matter. You have a better product or service? Doesn’t matter. Better price? Better support? Better whatever? Still doesn’t matter.
You must publish. You must continuously publish strong, compelling content that showcases your value at every stage of the customer’s buying process. In other words, you need an e-Rep.