When learning to swim, do you begin when it’s sunny or when the flood waters are approaching your second-story windows? Why, then, have you waited for the proverbial storm clouds to fill the skies? Probably because, like many others, you never thought it would be THAT bad.
The Industrial Age is Gone
There are times when being an optimist is perfectly reasonable, but this isn’t one of them. Now it’s all about realism. It’s time to open the blinds and take a long, hard look outside. The Industrial Age is gone. So are land lines, televisions with 13-channel dials, and 8-track tapes. We are now in the Internet Age, where consumers are armed with more information about brands AND individual representatives than can be printed on a direct-mail piece. Where does all of this information come from? Transparent sharing by real human beings in and between an infinite number of online communities. If you think your “dirty little secrets” can stay secure forever, prepare for a big surprise. You may be able to secure most inside information that is protected legally, but common-knowledge across-the-board “perks” in any industry will likely not fall in that category.
It’s NOT About You
What happens when full disclosure really means full disclosure? How do you explain to customers that the true reason for your 40 calls to their cell per week is less about them and more about you. The legacy generation of customers that has provided your income stream for the last three decades already knows, but they no longer care. They are nearing the end of their buying cycle for your products and services. Unless they are independently wealthy, the likelihood of them needing more from you than they already have is slim to none. What you’re failing to realize is that every generation of consumer that follows is going to have access to exponentially more information shared transparently across infinitely more platforms than their Industrial Age elders. No longer are they going to lie down in a sales appointment. In fact, there won’t be a “sales appointment”. It will be a “validation meeting”. They will meet to validate that you are a real human being, confirm that you are as represented by your online avatar, and that your brand’s solution has identical features and pricing when you submit the application as when they quoted it on their mobile device.
How are you preparing for that reality?