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The Web has given customers more information and channels for purchasing than they have ever had before, and this has shifted the way customers approach the buying process, writes Ralph Nappi in A Transformation: Buying vs. Selling.
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While he was writing in 2005, his comments on taking note of the shift are still relevant today. To address these changes, distributors should recognize that the traditional selling method may not be enough. “We must understand that we no longer hold the customer captive through each of the steps,” Nappi says.
Recognize there is more than one kind of buyer, and then, most importantly, structure your pricing and margin strategies to avoid spending more money on customers than they spend on you. “Since they can move so freely from one channel to another we can no longer expect to give away a service at one stage of the sales process and pick up revenue in another,” he says.