When you think of sales people what image comes to mind? Likely something in used cars, vacuum cleaners, Cutco knives or balance transfers.

It used to be that salespeople had a distinct advantage over people. It was the advantage of information. The old vacuum sales guy actually served a couple of purposes. The first was to sell you a vacuum cleaner and the second was to provide you information about vacuum cleaners. Without him, how else would have been able to really get to learn about the types of vacuum cleaners out there? If you didn’t let the salesperson in, you might miss out on a wonderful opportunity to gain some new information.

Salespeople in all industries have had this dual role for a long time. They used the bait of giving away good information to hit you with the sale. But the information you actually received from the salesperson didn’t actually have to be all that accurate. The trick was to make the information about the item sound amazing and simply maintain some semblance of truth. Once the salesperson was in the door, they had a lot of leverage regardless of the information they actually provided.

The internet has changed the sales dynamic. If a salesperson comes to your door or calls you on the phone today, they have no information to offer you that you can’t find on Google on your own time. The gathering information portion of the sales process is becoming an online activity.

So how do you sell today? The promise of good information isn’t an inducement anymore, salespeople actually have to deliver good information. Now you have to say things because they are true, not because you want to push a product. Providing superb information to prospective customers is a prerequisite to a sale. If you fail on that first step, people will leave. But if you have good information, you become easier to find online. Google gives you more prominence and people will distribute your information through countless online channels.

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