Customer Loyalty – Gone (Insight From Robert Bloom’s The New Experts)

Robert Bloom, marketing guru, has a new book about The New Experts.  And who are those new experts?  You are – the buyer.  The buyer is now in control.  And this is a genuine change in the way business is conducted.

The book is filled with quotes describing this no longer changing, but now-changed, environment.

Like these:

Do you know what your customers want, and are you giving it to them?…  Although most of us make a living selling something…  When we do (act as buyers), we are as unfaithful and selfish as any buyer out there, looking for the best deal and walking away from our previous relationships with former sellers of choice.  When we assume our role as a seller, however, we become obsessed with our selling task:  We forget how we, as buyers, live, work, play, think, and act. Far too often, we, as sellers, think like a seller and act like a seller.

This problem – namely, the upheaval in the fundamental buyer-seller equation – was concealed by the recent boom years during which sellers could sell anything to buyers who were eager to buy everything they could, or as it turned out – could not – afford.  The excesses of yesterday…obscured the emergence of the buyer’s newfound power and authority.

Today, buyers are in control.

This reversal of supremacy has placed every business around the globe in a perilous situation.

In this era, all of the “we can count on” factors are gone.

Customer loyalty – gone.

Familiarity – gone.

Even relationships – gone.

Recently, we bought a gift for our son’s girlfriend.  It was exactly the same gift I had bought for my wife a while back (she had seen my wife’s, and liked it).  What did I do?  I googled the item, found the best price, and ordered it. It took 5 minutes – tops!  I had no interest in going back to the same seller as before, and in fact, chose a different seller.  Based totally on price.  (The item was exactly the same – why would I care who sold it to me?)

This particular company delivered on time, and I was quite pleased.  I suspect that I will never buy the same item again, but even if I do, I will not return to the same company – even with their excellent customer service.  I will google the item again – and get the best price, again.

I am the new expert – the new buyer.  Just like you are.  And this is a tough selling environment.

Mr. Bloom has some really good ideas to survive in this environment in his book.  But even with his good ideas, the truth is pretty clear, and pretty scary.  It is going to be tough sledding out there for a long time to come.

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