Ever heard the comment “don’t blink or you’ll miss it”? In today’s fast-paced market, the phrase is truer than ever. Technology and all its “rewards” make us move at breakneck speed. Here in the 21st century, we live in a culture of nanoseconds. We need the fastest internet access possible. We work wirelessly to maintain mobility. We want 24/7 access and if we have to get in the car, we connect a Bluetooth so we don’t miss a beat. We don’t want to waste time on the phone or wait for a call back, so we text or instant message. We shop online to find even the most obscure products at any hour and then want them shipped the next day (preferably free) because time is money.
As a business person, you may be sitting around with all the tech gimmicks that pop up faster and more often than credit card offers. Take my advice: you know time is precious, so don’t waste it babbling about the difficulty of keeping up with technology. Instead, take these tools that can grow your success and run with them.
With nanosecond technology, our world can literally change overnight. You have to keep up with this dynamic and global environment, but that doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. You just need to open your mind to a different methodology. You don’t have the luxury of months of research to reflect, plan and rethink. There was a methodology that went like this: Think. Plan. Do. Then go back and repeat the cycle. Today, that strategy looks more like this: Do. Do. Do. In other words, spread your message in the market. Launch the new product or service now. Reuse it later. If you wait, someone else will jump in and take your market share. Or your idea will be outdated by the time it hits the market. Consider this reality: What college freshmen are currently learning in the classroom will be outdated by the time they graduate. Today’s freshmen don’t know a world without a computer, cash register, cable television, or color television. So why should your business be any different? Slowing down and thinking is the equivalent of procrastinating. As you “wait and see,” the competition kicks in. So here is your new strategy:
Do. Do. Do.
Take the iniciative. Be cutting edge. Even if you make a mistake, and many of us do, you’re still impacting your market. And sometimes a bug is just an opportunity to be seen and for your improvements to be recognized more widely.
Look at the auto industry. The days of wandering from showroom to showroom are over. You go online, choose your car, choose the features and click. Within 24 hours, and that’s for the slow ones, dealers are pinching your email with deals.
Look at retailers like BestBuy. They cross online and offline shopping channels. You get the convenience of shopping online and then you can pick up your purchase at your local store.
Look at companies like Dell, where you can customize your product, a powerful reflection of this culture’s need for individualism. Off-the-rack is out of step with this buyer.
Successful companies are attuned to the hyperspeed needs and wants of the nanosecond consumer. They have optimized websites that provide the information consumers greedily devour. Then they make it brilliantly simple to close the deal. Forget bells and whistles. Go to the feature about Flash. Add a podcast or two – they’re easy and effective. Keep your site fresh with updates that will keep visitors coming back. Whenever possible, create targeted messages that speak directly to your customers’ needs and wants. With the Internet, it’s easier than ever to create “custom” sites with unique offers and messages, and then instantly change or update sites when new information is discovered. You’ll be a thought leader, someone they go to for a new perspective, and someone they can turn to for purchasing options.
Even if your key customers are the “old-fashioned” type who love a handshake and a printed brochure, keep in mind that those people will be leaving the workplace in the not-too-distant future and their successors will be young, hip, and tech-savvy. . buyers Face to face is a foreign concept for them. They don’t want the personal sales pitch that their predecessors preferred. To capture their attention (and their orders), give them the information they want, when and how they want it, and do it more effectively than your competitors.
Your customers have more choices than ever before because the Internet has leveled the competition from a geographic perspective. You no longer care only about the company down the block or another representative encroaching on your turf. Competitors pop up from anywhere and before your radar picks up these flashes, they’re stealing customers.
With such an infinite reach, customers demand more than availability and competitive pricing. Now, more than ever, you need to distinguish your brand beyond the products you sell. Products do not make you unique. How you deliver and support those products will. The way you communicate with your customers will.
But the first step is to focus on technological wonders. Learn to use this to your advantage. Open your eyes and your mind to the possibilities. Stay alert, get excited, ride the wave. But above all, don’t blink!