Changes in purchasing have changed the sales game

Customers are better and more informed than they have ever been. They're technologically savvier and have more questions. Purchasing in the 21st century has changed, but have no fear - you can adapt to today's consumer in these four simple tips:

1. Once a customer recognizes the need, they usually start with an information search. This used to mean hitting the yellow pages. Now, it means social media and the Internet. They will search for their provider by reading online reviews and posting queries to their friends on social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter. You can increase your online presence and raise visibility by maintaining social media pages and encouraging customers to review your business.

2. The modern customer does their research. Once they consult with you, they will research not only what you recommended, but what you quoted. They will study the cost of various products and they will often want to negotiate services. Be able to back up your quotes, and in the cases where negotiation is an option, continue training in sales techniques that can help fine-tune those skills.

3. Once you've sold the service and the product, expect more involvement from your customers during the installation process. Now that they have a better understanding of the products themselves, they will engage more in the process by asking questions and specifications on their new technology, like model number and recent technology updates. Be ready for this by always being prepared with the latest information and resources for that product or service.

4. When a job is completed, you can expect to hear if the customer is happy with your work. People are quick to review and voice their experience, so it's important to be professional throughout the job, since a customer will be just as likely to report a good experience as they will a bad one.

The importance of forming good, lasting relationships with your customers is invaluable. From making the customer feel good about their new purchase to giving them the information a modern-day customer craves, be sure to invest time in the customer experience, as your sale today affects your business tomorrow.

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