Everybody is talking! It seems like that phrase has been around for some time. It is so true, more so today than ever before. Everybody is indeed talking. Our society and technology have made it easy, effective and inexpensive. We talk on the land phone, cell phone, conference call, voice mail, email, letters, notes, signs, radio, television, the web, direct mail, blogs and seemingly countless other means. We talk directly, indirectly and covertly, behind someone’s back. Our communication is both positive and negative, and operates at a wide variety of volume levels from the sublime to the skywriter. It seems that everyone has something to say.
Salespeople, marketers and companies are listening too! We are all paying attention. In a day where the viral action of a mere blog post can reach more people than almost any other form of media, we are more aware than ever that there is real conversation going on at every level imaginable. Consider the RSS phenomenon. I have RSS feeds keeping me abreast of new developments and conversations in virtually every area of my interests. I have even combined some of these feeds from a variety of sources within a single industry for my viewing and listening pleasure. That is correct, we are no longer limited to simply the written word, but may enjoy video and audio from an almost unlimited number of sources, custom delivered right to our desktop!
So why are we discussing this here? We are in the Age of Conversation. Consider how fast information is now becoming available. A mere century ago, we relied on newspapers, telegraph, cryptic radio and telephone and the mail to spread the word. As a result, change was slower to occur. Speed up the rate of communications and you increase the rate of change. Today, information that may alter the face of an industry is available instantaneously; at least for those who are paying attention.
These conversations are becoming critical to both our sales focus and marketing efforts. Today, marketers can survey an entire market segment by monitoring applicable blogs and pod-casts in their industries. Companies that are paying attention can adapt and tailor their marketing, sales strategies and tactics on the fly. They can be flexible, quick to either cut their losses or to change course and immediately pursue an alternate opportunity.
The savvy salesperson is positioned to be a foot-soldier and a ground-level conversationalist. Having an “ear to the ground” or “nose to the grindstone” so-to-say enables us to respond to market changes more rapidly. Product, market and application information as well as troubleshooting assistance has become almost immediately available, enabling a sales call to be a completely beneficial experience for both salesperson and customer. This daily conversation then, becomes part of the growing community of conversationalists where everyone has the opportunity to make both deposits and withdrawals. Your participation in your industry conversations may become your most effective sales strategy.
Every entrepreneur, marketer and salesperson needs to be participating in the numerous conversations found on countless blogs everywhere. Communicate. Share your expertise and get to know your community. Opportunity abounds, but you have to be prepared, know where to look and always be ready to act.