Don’t Add Value Anymore…Add Meaning

Added Meaning Business ModelIn case you haven’t noticed life has changed and so has business.
It’s no longer all about the seller it’s all about the buyer. So now more than ever it’s a case of Seller Beware…
It’s now all about People not Products.
And solving problems and providing Proof that you can.
In sales and marketing for many decades we have talked about the 3, 4, 5 or however many Ps.  And all of those Ps were controlled by the seller – Product, Promotion, Place, People, Price.
Putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.
Well now it’s still about 5 Ps but the control is with the buyer – Profile, People, Problem, Productivity and Performance. But the Seller still needs to mind their Ps and add a new one – Proof. And note that Proof has replaced Price.
In an upcoming post ” Selling It’s All About Me “ I will cover in depth the role of the new Ps.
Generally these days between the producer, manufacturer etc and the consumer is an agent, a retailer, a broker etc. (lets call them the middleman) who aims to add value to justify their existence.
Not that long ago I was predicting the death of the middleman – killed off by the internet linking buyers and sellers direct – cutting out the middleman and saving the consumer money.  Google was to be the solution to delivering this link…but rather than become a solution it has become part of a problem.
Lets look at travel agents. They were to die…and many have…as we could DIY it on the Net. But Google and the Net in general has become yet another medium for those sellers who can shout the loudest and probably not deliver the best service or even  product we are looking for.
What we have seen is the rise of the new  travel agent who has developed specialisations and expertise you won’t find in Google…above all they have become trusted advisors who not only sell products but they validate and even accredit travel products.
I think the new travel agent is a good example in terms of changes in technology and access to data etc, meaning the “middleman” has had to add meaning (not just value) to the relationship in linking buyers and sellers.
Faced with an ongoing overload of information it is becoming near impossible for the consumer to find the right product they need to solve their problems or support their needs.  And increasingly the manufacturer etc is finding it harder and harder in the face of increasing competition to find the right consumers at the right time.
As such Consumers are looking for experts to guide and support them and provide above all trust in someone that understands their needs. And while sellers have often turned to agents they are now finding that a new level of relationship is needed once again based on trust.
So the Trusted Advisors support the consumer through an understanding of their specific needs and delivering them proof in the form of case studies or examples. And rather than just being a reseller as an industry expert, they are well placed to test, certify and accredit the suppliers product adding a sense of reliability.
It may well be in future the brand or the marque of the middleman that is more sought after than the brand of the manufacturer…as it can stand for independent, certified proof…that the product is not only fit for purpose but designed to fit the purchasers specific needs.
And after all isn’t that what we all want?

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