The pandemic has brought many changes to people’s lives and as importantly their expectations and behaviours, not least as far as their buying behaviour. When lockdown hit in March 2020, businesses that were used to a particular pattern of buying behaviour, predicated on face-to-face customer interaction, were forced to seek alternatives. Some hunkered down to wait it out, some pivoted to bring their product or service direct to their customer (such as local pubs, restaurants and shops too numerous to mention), some fast tracked change that they had already sought to build their business around (Just Eat, Deliveroo, Amazon) and some still further saw the opportunity to do something entirely different. Success came to those who recognised the needs of their buyers and changed their business accordingly.
So what has changed?
Traditional sales techniques have been eroded over the last decade by mass unfocused advertising, the rise of cyber crime, and an increasingly educated consumer often with a dislike for ‘being sold to’. Empowered by comparison sites, review sites, online communities and social media where recommendations and good and bad stories are shared, more often than not people self-serve. They sift through information and form their own view.
7 years ago, the topic du jour in legal services was client journey mapping and client listening – initially to improve experience by smoothing out the points of pain and in ace-ing the moments of truth but in reality a wake up about the emotional journey buyers travel and how to differentiate and personalise experience.
5 years ago saw the pressure of B2B buyer-led change in expectations around value give rise to legal tech and AI innovation which continues to grow.
And 3 years ago, the consumer-driven changes to data protection and data privacy ushered in by GDPR brought more control back to the buyer in terms of their data.
Many professional services firms don’t need traditional sales techniques. What they do need is help to enable them to better attract their buyers: to understand their markets, prospects and opportunities; to understand who could buy their service, what their interests, issues and needs are; to bring creative, relevant content and ways to engage with them; to build awareness, trust and favourability; to demonstrate and enhance value; to create attractive new services and products; and to bring an agile mastery of both digital and traditional channels.
So what’s stopping you replacing a seller mentality with a buyers’ perspective as the focus for your roadmap to success?
Originally published on LinkedIn in March 2021