7 Reasons E-Commerce Is Better Than Face-to-Face Salespeople
- Is available all the time
- Serves unlimited customers or prospects at the same time without waiting
- Allows the customer to browse without pressure
- Listens to exactly what the customer says, and shows them what they’ve asked for
- Suggests other items gently, while showing them what they ask for
- Remembers who customers are on every visit
- Shows consistent pricing without having to wait for a quote
I could go on, but the point is, there are many reasons people prefer e-commerce over salespeople.
On the other hand, people still like dealing with people. Especially people they trust and like, and when dealing with critical timelines or issues. Furthermore, salespeople still have insights that have not (yet) been programmed into e-commerce. In fact, the best industry e-commerce firms have strong salespeople supporting the e-commerce sales engine. Or is it the e-commerce sales engine supporting the salespeople? It is both. Some buyers only want to deal with a salesperson, while others prefer to conduct most or all of their business online. For most clients, a hybrid approach works best, allowing the customer to order online whenever they want and talking with a sales person whenever they want.
Our industry thrives on knowledgeable salespeople to support our customers, but it also now thrives on a solid e-commerce strategy to support (or drive) sales. Customers appreciate e-commerce, and expectations continue to change. To be successful in this new environment, you should have many of the same characteristics of a great e-commerce site in your own approach in addition to a great e-commerce strategy.
- Available all the time, or at least whenever your client wants you?
- Able to serve multiple customers at the same time? (You need a website and/or a team to do this)
- Allowing your customer to browse without any pressure?
- Listening to your customer and showing them what they want to see?
- Suggesting related ideas while supporting their original request?
- Remembering all the details about each of your customers?
- Showing consistent pricing?
To be clear, the Geiger business that I’m involved in is dependent on a great sales force that adds value to the selling process well beyond the seven items I’ve listed. We believe (and I believe) in the power of a sales force. We use e-commerce as a strategy to support our sales force, and I strongly advocate a hybrid sales model for your ultimate success. The title of this blog is meant to get you to think about what e-commerce does well, and what more you can do to serve your clients.
Dale is a business leader who is best known for providing business-focused I.T. leadership. He believes technology is not limited to increasing efficiency, but is essential to driving revenue. Dale strongly believes having great people is the critical ingredient to success no matter how great your technology might be.
Known to many in the promotional products industry as a leading technologist, Dale is using his mix of business and technology to help drive the industry forward. One of the leaders and founders of the PromoStandards effort, Dale and others are working hard to address industry inefficiencies. Dale also is a board member of PPAI through 2018.