Time is Money

Time has enormous value. Today, as we receive data at increasing speeds and make connections in the blink of an eye, this has never been more true. Have a look at any ISP commercial or the constant upgrading of cellular capacity. Faster evidently means better. When I was a kid, I’d wait days to download a 12-track CD. Today, I complain if Netflix takes a couple seconds more to stream a program in HD. And I like to think I am an exceptionally patient person.

Time is finite. If we find what we’re looking for quickly we can move on to other things. Faster information leads to faster decisions and an ability to get more done.

But, with almost infinite information available instantly, as well as a focus on time-saving measures, I have noticed the buying process changing. Continuous improvement in technology has raised the acceptable standard for the businesses we will continue to work with in the future.

There has been a shift, where power has moved from the supplier to the customer. Days of door-to-door sales seem to be phasing out and marketing budgets swing to targeted online channels. I personally don’t want to take half-hour appointments to learn about the latest widgets. If it is as good as they say, it’s already been online for months with scores of reviews. We’re still required to be where our clients are, but this increasingly no longer means face-to-face, rather a form of online communication (websites, social channels and email).

All of this makes the playing field more competitive. Not only do prospects expect to discover an almost endless amount of material regarding products on their own, they can and will find an equal amount of information regarding your competitors’ products. It is almost as if prospects are qualifying themselves. They’ve researched, know more than ever, and are reaching out directly.

How do we continue to thrive in a marketplace where knocking on doors and making cold calls are dying? A possible source of visibility can be online communities where others talk about your product without interjections by you. Do not underestimate the power of user-generated content: one viral post can make or break you. For many, the most trusted source of information is other peoples’ opinions. Focus on providing pertinent information and, more importantly, make the information they’re seeking extremely easy to find. After all, time is money for your customers, too.

Pete de Gorter is vice president of sales and marketing at DeGorter Inc. Contact him at pete@degorter.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

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