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News & Press: CalAdvisor Newsletter

April President's Message

Friday, April 7, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Admin
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This month, I decided to do something different for my “President’s Message.”  Instead of talking about NAIFA and change, DOL, Membership or PAC, I want to attempt to share some leadership, inspiration and motivation with you.

Recently, I reviewed the book “The New Experts.”  Here’s a brief summary of just one section I will share with you. The new generation of customers is armed with three lethal weapons: instant access to information about every potential purchase, immense choice and real-time comparisons of competitive prices, making today’s customers the new experts.

These weapons have permanently changed the purchase behavior of customers who no longer care where, or from, whom they buy. The result is an irreversible decline in customer loyalty for almost all companies--in almost all industries. For instance, in 2009, only 20 percent of U.S. car buyers were brand loyal.

The New Experts provides a practical solution to this brutal reality: Deliver what matters most to these customers when it matters most, throughout their purchase progression at their “4 Decisive Customer Moments”: the Now-or-Never Moment, the Make-or-Break Moment, the Keep-or-Lose Moment and the Highly Profitable Multiplier Moment.

• In 2009, only 20 percent of car buyers were brand loyal, compared to 80 percent in the 1980s, according to CNW Marketing Research.

• In 2009, only 36 percent of business travelers claimed that they were brand loyal, compared to 42 percent in 2007, according to Forrester Research.

Buyers no longer care who they buy from. This revolution in buying habits did not happen suddenly. No one could have anticipated that this change would occur during the long period when sellers were in control of the purchase progression. Sellers controlled every aspect of the buyer-seller relationship, so why should anyone have doubted their power?

When sellers were in control, retailers, not credit or debit cards, were the only source of credit for the goods and services you wanted. Retailers dictated the terms under which you could purchase goods from them, and it was difficult to shop around for better terms elsewhere because, if better terms could be found, the approval process was often lengthy and complex. Sellers were the primary influence in your credit decisions.

When sellers were in control, car dealerships, not the Internet, were the only places buyers could obtain information about the cool convertibles they desired. Car dealers controlled what you knew and, more importantly, limited your access to what they did not want you to know. Sellers were the primary influence in your purchasing decision.

When sellers were in control, buyers who were desperate for cash over a long holiday weekend when their banks were closed did without cash; there were no ATMs around the corner. Banks determined where, when and how you were able to gain access to your own money. Sellers were the primary influence in your financial decisions.

Today, buyers are in control. This reversal of supremacy has placed every business around the globe in a perilous situation. This inverted equation has created a revolution in buyer behavior. The solution is to master the four moments when customers are most easily influenced either to buy from you or to move on to buy from one of your competitors.

The first step is to understand the transformation of your buyer:

I’ll say it again.  Buyers no longer care which seller they buy from.  This gives buyers all the power to make their purchase decisions.

• Buyers know all too well that their favorite search engine will instantly connect them to dozens of seller websites where they can compare every aspect of the choices they are offered.

• Buyers know that they will find the best value somewhere in the marketplace because the marketplace is full of options.

• Buyers are empowered by the reality that they are in control.

But buyers do care about fulfilling their needs and making the best purchase decision.  That is how you can win them over, at four critical Emotionally Driven Purchasing Points.

Buyers are most responsive to a seller’s influence when powerful emotions force buyers’ decision making, which is when buyers are in the process of purchasing something important to them.

Most sellers do not realize that these are the moments to make the most of their influence over their potential customer. These emotionally driven purchasing events are the decisive customer moments. The vulnerable and impulsive customer moments are when you can most easily induce the buyer to choose your firm over your competitors.

All businesses have 4 Decisive Customer Moments: four fleeting opportunities when they can make their firm 1st choice and beat out the competitors.

To capitalize on these four decisive moments, sellers must change the way they think and act.  At these fragile moments, the seller must think like a buyer. To create profitable growth, you must be able to think like a buyer and deliver the benefits your buyers want, at the 4 Decisive Customer Moments, your 4 Decisive Customer Moments. 

The four invaluable moments are:

  1. The Now-or-Never Moment is your first brief contact. Contacts not converted into customers at your Now-or-Never Moment will vanish, probably forever.
  2. The Make-or-Break Moment is the lengthy transaction process between the buyer and your business. This is the extended period of consideration, negotiation, and decision to purchase.
  3. Your Keep-or-Lose Moment is the period when your buyer is actually using your business’ products or services. Maintaining performance is essential at your Keep-or-Lose Moment.
  4. Your Multiplier Moment is your conversion of a one-time customer into a repeat customer and an advocate and referral source for your company.

Buyers are now in control of your entire purchase progression. Failure to sustain your performance at all 4 Decisive Customer Moments can be a recipe for business failure. You can make your business first choice at each of the 4 Decisive Customer Moments.

As an Insurance and Financial Professional, we need to understand the new “buyer’s new paradigm way of thinking.”  We need to adapt our sales methods to the new buyers’ way of thinking.  We sell a product that changes lives, that empowers lives; we provide hope and security in times of needs.  Believe in what you do, be passionate about what you do, and go boldly to the buyer and help them purchase the solutions for their needs.

Go out to your markets with this information, and transform the way you do business!  Success is at your fingertips.

I would be remiss if I did not put in a plug for our NAIFA-California’s Convention where you will be sure to get sales ideas, motivation and inspiration. In 28 years as a NAIFA member, I have always received great, implementable ideas to help me grow my business. That is what you should come to expect at our Annual Conference in just a few months. Make plans to attend, and be energized and refilled by the keynote speakers and panel experts we have lined up for the 2017 CAC. 

San Francisco.  June 14-16.  BE THERE.

I want to know if this article helped you to transform your business.  Tell me in person in June at the CAC!

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