I’ve based my business around face-to-face customer contact and quality, personalised service. I’m now being squeezed on price by new online rivals. How can I compete?
The old world of selling versus the new world of selling, or do we really have an opportunity to have the best of both worlds?
For my part, I achieve far more powerful results by talking to customers face-to-face about my products than what I get from any online site.
The problem is one customer at a time is a very slow journey, and if we can get the online message right, we can broadcast to large numbers.
Of course we can run video messaging, use YouTube and other channels to be more personal over the internet, but this is not quite the same as facing up personally to your customer.
I feel we need to combine both sales opportunities, face-to-face and online.
We need to personalise our online messages, make them very clear and credible.
Equally, where possible, we need to continue to create face-to-face opportunities with our clients by phone, face-to-face or simply by being accessible (i.e. having all forms of contact available on your website).
Coming from a direct selling world, I am very aware of the power of personal contact; it leads to amazing sales.
However, to achieve volume and market spread, the internet is the key.
I have customers from all over Australia through the internet. I could never have met all these clients personally.
Of course some of these clients have come from print media, TV, and referrals as well as the internet.
Online is just another channel that we cannot ignore: the better we get at our online business, the bigger our business.
In Australia, online sales will come at the expense of jobs in retail or face-to-face sales.
Starting a business today must inevitably include an online sales strategy – think Kogan, an amazing model for an online sales business.