How Covid19 Changed The Modern Buyer and Changed Sales and Marketing

2020-06-08 8:06

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

I’m doing a webinar on Thursday and I’ve just got off a practice call.

It’s partly, to test the technology, (ironically a person from Huawei, couldn’t connect as they use an old version of Microsoft Internet Explorer), it was also for me to meet the other guest. There was also time for us to do a “dress rehearsal” as to the way that the conversation should go.

One of the questions I was asked was, what is the latest and greatest right now on social selling?

I pointed out that to be honest, most of the fundamentals of social selling still exist now as they did back in 2015, when I first started my social selling project and before I had written “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers”.

The three core fundamentals are:-

  1. Your Linkedin profile, this is your “shop window” to the world. This is what the modern buyer, when they check you out, read about you, your belief systems, where you have come from, and how you can help people.
  2. Your Network – Most sales people’s networks are your x colleagues and recruitment consultants. You need to move all of your territory online, prospects, customers, people who influence and people you would love to sell to.
  3. Content – The third thing you need is content. Why? Because this is the thing that the modern buyer is looking for. They want to find out about things they don’t know. If you sell Blockchain, people are searching for help on Blockchain. If you sell Cybersecurity, people are looking for insight in this area. They are not looking for corporate content that tells them “we are the best”, “we are number one” that is what all the competition say. You job is to be different.

But, actually the world has changed with Covid 19 and world has changed over the last 5 years.

We all have mobile phones, we all have access to the internet and we are all used to searching for stuff.

Think about how we marketed before Covid19, you hit somebody with an advert and they either bought or they didn’t.

You hit somebody with a cold call and they either bought or they didn’t.

You hit somebody with an email and you either bought or you didn’t.

Now things have changed there is a third option.

We go onto social and we check those products or services out.

Let me say that again. If you use advertising, cold calling or email, your proposed buyer you have targeted will all go onto to social and run a comparison. You, versus you online competition.

Now, just think what is happening if you are NOT investing in social?

The Internet Killed Your Marketing Plan

Now, if you come to me and say, I have the best CRM, what do I do? I put CRM into Google and check out the options. I check out the third party reviews.

I go onto social and check out the articles. Now with any articles being written, that content you “consume”.

The Problem with Advertising, Cold Calling and Email

Now if you are into all of that legacy stuff, then I bet you are not putting effort into your social presence. I’m not talking about advertising on social, that isn’t social, it’s advertising.

All that advertising, cold calling and cold emailing is driving your prospects into the hands of the competition that are social. Of course, you interrupt me and I go online and check you and the competition out.

Real Life Case Study

BMW know that the moment somebody walks into one of their showrooms, that person will probably know more that the salesperson. Why? Because they will have searched the web, joined online discussion groups, asked their friends and family online and off-line.

It’s not possible for the salesperson to know everything there is about all the cars. way they first tried to get around that was to have “teams”. An SUV team and a 5 and 7 series team, but still clients would know more.

(Clients will also know about pricing information and “deals” because people will have shared this on social.)

BMW have therefore moved the role of the salesperson to be more advisory on the things that a person cannot Google. The right lease options, the right options on the car that hold their value. The fact that sporty versions don’t tend to hold their value, if resale value is important to you.

The Covid19 Factor

What I’ve told you above is all pre-covid19. Covid19 has accelerated this.

There were die hards bosses who said all employees had to be in the office. Of course, not anymore.

Social has become the lifeline for many people in terms of information and community support. 

Even my 82 year old mother is having her wine group on Zoom.

The New Normal is Digital

So when Stéphanie Genin, vice president of global enterprise marketing at social media management firm Hootsuite said this, I wasn’t surprised, are you?

“After weeks of adapting to Zoom parties, video appointments with doctors, online schooling, social distancing and tapping into social media for virtually everything, will people be happy to go back to their old ways of working and engaging with each other?”

she then goes on to ask.

“The answer will be no. Social media has been holding communities together and organisations will need to assess how to manage the new normal.”

What does this mean for buyers and sellers and what does it mean for business leaders?

Social Media is Now Defacto For Your Sales and Marketing Teams

The Analogue Selling Conundrum

The longer Covid-19 goes on, the more we will build “network” skills and the more we will expect the people selling to us to behave in the same way.

The more cold calling, cold emails and advertising seems to be from a bygone age.

Getting Your Sales Team on Social

I’m going to have to talk about the “elephant in the room” which is about your own sales team and the fact they are NOT social.

Social is not posting, social is not posting corporate content that marketing have told you to post. Social is not having emojis in your Linkedin profile, something that actually impacts the algorithm negatively. Social Selling (often called Modern Selling) is a methodology to enable you to sell more, or right now in the Covid-19 world to sell.

Take a look at your sales people’s Linkedin profiles are they working hard for them? Do they stand out from the competition or do they look like every other salesperson? Are they using their Linkedin profile to qualify deals, so they only sell to the people who will buy from them? Think of the efficiency saving if you stop chasing business you cannot close / win.

Are they using content to accelerate deals through the pipe? Are they using social to prospect? Are they using social to close deals?

Selling has been reinvented, not by me or by any of us at DLA Ignite, but by your buyers. It’s time your business got in synch with those digital buyers and right now, you have the time to do it.

If you want to chat about how we can transform your sales team, you can contact me here

People who read this article also read these:

Why This Management Consultancy Chose Social Selling

Why You Need to Make Your Product Strategic In These Difficult Times

Covid19 – So What Are You Going To Do to Get Out of This Mess?


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GET IN TOUCHAvantage Social links
Taking seamless key performance indicators offline to maximise the long tail.

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