I had a telephone call yesterday, at 5.25pm, to my home, showing as "Unavailable" on the screen.
It was from what I'll call a "major financial institution" trying to sell me something. You always know that's what they're doing because the call is from someone you don't know, who introduces themself & instantly tries to be very pally!
You wouldn't put up with this approach if someone tried it in the pub, so why should you accept it when they have intruded into your private space?
In my case, this response is very clearly the effect of the "social web".
I have always been somewhat reticent about being "sold to", but today, as we approach the 2 year mark since Lehman, and I have been on Twitter & Facebook for just over that 2 year point, I'm quite sure I'm not alone in having moved very clearly to being a "Buyer".
This fits the profile of anyone sitting in "time poverty" - I will buy something, on my terms, but only after I have researched the product/service, and it's pricing, and it's supplier, on the net.
By taking that "savvy" approach, I feel I know what I'm getting into - I have been able to research my objective, and find what I'm looking for, through recommendation and reviews.
I am confident that I am getting value, because I have been able to make comparisons, and I have chosen a supplier for my goods or service, again through recommendation or reviews, but not before they have passed my own "tick box test".
I need to have found them on the net, established name, address and contact details, and maybe even found a little about their history, background and experience (if this is the start of a longer term association, and not just a one-off purchase).
This pre-vetting may well include the appearance & content value of their web presence - site & social media touch points - do I like what they say, have I been able to interact with them?
That is the "Meet Like Know Trust" concept in action. It works in networking circles, and it can apply equally in commercial and financial circumstances too. It is also several world's away from the Doorstep Salesman approach attempted through that phone call.
How can I feel the slightest bit comfortable buying anything from anybody who hasn't at least tried to get to know me first, before trying to "pitch" at me?
How much longer will it be before the major corporates, banks, & institutions learn that their Sales Department should now be called their Buys Department?
Engage first. The world is going social. Get used to it. Move with the times!
What do you think?
Howard J Moorey
April 14th, 2010
Howard Moorey advises businesses, organisations, and individuals on how to use social media and social networks to build relationships and deliver value.
You can reach him at: howard at hojomo.com
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Home is where the heart is: Cotswold Hills, UK