Turning Consumer Trends Into Sales Tips: Delivering the Change Consumers Want
This is the fourth installment in my series based on a recent “trends” report released recently by Sheryl Connelly, Global Consumer Trends and Futurist at Ford Motor Company. I originally mentioned the Ford Trend’s Report in this post. The study tracks trends reflecting the opinions and behaviors of modern consumers. And I think many of them suggest sales tips to better engage those consumers.
Today, I’d like to discuss a trend from the report that has huge implications: change. We all look forward to positive change in our world, our businesses and in our own lives. Today’s consumers seem determined to make change happen. Therefore, they support many causes related to social issues, the environment and more. But as the Ford report shows, there are many opinions about the best ways to get there.
Talking vs. Acting
Sometimes it’s easy to verbally support a cause, but not follow through in a meaningful way. Few dispute the environmental advantages of car-pooling. Yet the many lone-occupant cars at rush hour suggest that it’s too much trouble. In a survey of adults globally, 38% of those 18-29 feel no remorse throwing away clothes that are no longer in style.
Consumers do place responsibility elsewhere. When asked who is most to “blame” for excess consumerism, 38% point to “the media.” Another 24% say that “companies” are responsible. But no one ever said positive change would be easy. And most people support policies that make communities and the world safer, cleaner and better.
Ford says it thinks about what’s best for its customers economically, socially and environmentally. It seems apparent all of us in business should feel that way—but what does that really mean?
Know Your Customer’s Mind
I believe it’s critical to understand how customers see change, and what things they think will bring it. Let’s look at survey responses from the Ford study that may shed some light on that.
- 47% agreed “individual consumers” have the most power to effect positive changes on society
- 86% felt they should pay closer attention to the production ethics of the products they buy
- 69% believe boycotting a brand can change corporate behavior for the better
Sales Tips from Social Accountability
Chances are, your business uses some environmentally friendly practices. Your products, too, may help your customers do the same. Make sure your sales message and support materials reference good corporate citizenship, and share specifics that demonstrate how, by purchasing from you, they are helping promote desirable social change.
- Provide details about how you, as a business, practice responsible stewardship of resources. Your prospects and customers feel they are doing good by supporting companies that do.
- Provide information about how your products and services help customers make a real difference in these areas. Think about that and make it part of your competitive advantage.
- Display transparency—about your people, your products and how they are acquired or manufactured. This is not only a selling benefit, but a force in encouraging entire industries to move in this direction.
Sales Tips from Superior
We have several examples at Superior Business Solutions. Our Corporate Kiosk and e(c3) print management services are wise choices environmentally. Printing things more efficiently and “as needed” minimizes storage and the product waste that often results from large traditional print runs. Prospects see value in that in many ways.
Paying attention to “change” can help your business change for the better. For more on this, and other sales tips that will help your sales team succeed, contact us today and ask for a free consultative sales enablement review.