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Small Business Digest



Selling to the Tough 'New Experts'- Customers Empowered by the Internet

An unprecedented transformation has occurred.  For the first time ever, Internet-empowered customers – aka the “New Experts” – are in control.

They are armed with three lethal weapons:

  • Instant access to information about all products and services,
  • Immense choice in every consumer and industrial category, and
  • Real-time price comparison on now-ubiquitous, apps-loaded mobile devices.

These “New Experts” no longer care where or from whom they buy. “Today’s confident, intensely aggressive buyers have taken control of the entire purchase progression. This is the most dangerous situation that business leaders have ever experienced,” says Robert Bloom, former U.S. Chairman & CEO of Publicis Worldwide and author of The New Experts: Win Today’s Newly Empowered Customers at Their Four Decisive Moments (Greenleaf Book Group Press, September 2010).

Business success is possible only if marketers and sellers can persuade these highly informed, techno-savvy, assertive customers of every age, gender and income to buy from them, and that is becoming increasingly difficult to do.  In The New Experts, Bloom focuses entirely on this serious challenge to businesses of all types and sizes.  He identifies the Four Decisive Customer Moments that influence the outcome of any potential sales transaction and shows companies how they can create Customer Preference – the fundamental differentiator in the new brand-agnostic world.  Bloom’s solution enables businesses to win customers by delivering to them what they want most, when they want it – at each of the Four Decisive Moments.
Decisive Moment No. 1:  The Now-or-Never Moment: The Now-or-Never Moment occurs during the buyer’s all-too-brief initial contact with a company’s product or service. This is when building Customer Preference must begin. Bloom urges businesses to view the selling process from the customer’s perspective, showing business leaders how to improve the effectiveness of their Web sites, increase their conversion rates and align their organizations to win prospects at this critical selling juncture.
Decisive Moment No. 2:  The Make-or-Break Moment: “If you are like most business leaders, you never stop worrying about pending sales, because you know from experience that far too many transactions fall through at your Make-or-Break Moment, the extended period of consideration, negotiation and decision to purchase,” Bloom writes. He maps out a plan for making Customer Engagement the top priority at this pivotal stage in the selling process.  Customer Engagement leads to Customer Preference which results in a sale.
Decisive Moment No. 3:  The Keep-or-Lose Moment: The Keep-or-Lose Moment is the period when the buyer is actually using a company’s products or services.  “Customers must feel just as ‘loved’ after the sale as they did during the selling process, or you will not be able to generate the high-margin repeat purchase, advocacy and referral you want,” Bloom warns.  This is the most-overlooked opportunity in business.  “The best time to reinforce the Customer Preference you created during the purchase progression is when your product or service is being tried, used or consumed by your customer,” he says. Bloom shows how to prevent customer churn; how to lay the groundwork for developing repeat buyers; and how to maintain top-of-mind ranking with customers when hungry competitors are everywhere.

Decisive Moment No. 4:  The Multiplier Moment: This is a company’s chance to convert a one-time customer into a repeat customer, an advocate and a referral source. According to Bloom, “the Multiplier Moment is the successful conclusion to your customer’s purchase progression.... It is the highly profitable moment when your customer buys again (and again); [and] recommends and refers you to business associates, friends, family and anyone who seeks a product or service like yours.”  Bloom presents powerful strategies for success at the highly valuable Multiplier Moment.

In the book, Bloom shares information he discovered in the business trenches, demonstrating how businesses can combat the “New Experts” at each decisive moment in the purchase progression. He emphasizes the need for all business leaders to change the way they think and work in order to survive in the irreversible customer-centric economy. 

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