THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Information Assisted Selling: A New Way of Selling

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The world of selling has changed forever and now companies must use information assisted selling in order to ensure they grow revenues. The convergence of the internet and a worse-than-perfect economy are putting double pressure on companies dependent upon sales to search out new ways to sell their products and services. While discounts seem to be the favorite mode of operation, other companies are actually seeking new ways to handle customers in order to effectively impact their bottom line.

With growing numbers accessing the web either for information or the purchase itself, organizations that are unable to use information to assist them in the sale will find themselves extent. Lets face it, very little new has been offered up to the sales world since the days of Dale Carnegie, yet the world has changed dramatically. Back in Carnegie's day competition only existed between local competitors and now competition is global. Things like customer satisfaction did not even exist as a corporate term when most the old philosophies were created, now companies are rewarded by manufacturers and consumers for their ability to satisfy customers. The market place has proven what companies have been teaching their people is clearly archaic and highly ineffective approaches. As a result the reputation of sales people is only higher than that of lawyers with even the unemployed avoiding sales as a career. The sales industry is treated with disdain of the ploys promoted by the so called 'sales-gurus' of decades gone past have damaged the industry's attractiveness.

Combine the negative reputation with US retail numbers suggesting nearly twice as many store closings as openings, companies are aggressively investigating new ways of reaching and more importantly new ways of selling them once reached. I developed information assisted selling as a new way of handling a customers whereby the company uses information in order to assist consumers in the selling of their product or service. I first introduced information assisted selling to solve problems for auto dealers. This new way of selling was immediately validated with improvements in sales effectiveness, employee retention,and customer satisfaction.

By survey delivered in real sales situations consumers suggested that sales organizations had become predictable avoiding information in order to "control" the sales cycle. This outdated approach was heavily promoted over the last three decades or more and I believe the reason for high turnover and poor effectiveness. Information Assisted Selling anticipates and initiates buyer sensitive issues and uses information as a way to control the sales process. This causes the prospect to be happily surprised by a willingness to make service senior to the sale itself, and results in better results from a highly sensitive consumer that is looking for almost any reason to not buy.

Corporate America is now searching for solutions to the most difficult sales environment in 25 years and new ways of actually selling customers may finally be an option worth investigating. When the internet hit critical mass it became obvious to not just auto dealers but all industries that companies must learn a new way to communicate and handle a better informed, internet-savvy customer to have any chance at making the sale. Information assisted selling is an intelligent, more effective and customer friendly method that reduces the time spent in the sales cycle, creates a better relationship, and gets better results.

No one denies that the economy is different and that the customer has changed, so who would think that the way in which you sell them would not also have to change? When the forces of a very difficult economy and information available to anyone with a mouse combined with a company's future dependent upon every sale for its revenue, companies must embrace new ways of selling it customers. Information assisted selling is a new way of handling an informed and more selective consumer.