In his book The New Experts, Bob Bloom says the tables have turned, and the internet has put the buyer in control, rather than the seller.
"If we go back all the way to the beginning of time, there was a seller and a buyer, and the seller was in control because the seller had all of the knowledge about the product or service. Today, the roles have changed. The knowledge is now with the buyer. The buyer also has a second big weapon and that is choice. 'Ed, if you don't sell me, then George will or Sally will.' It enables them to compare price on their handheld device and they are armed, therefore, to negotiate."
Bloom says there are defining moments in every selling progression, and marketers need to be aware.
"The first one is the now or never moment — it's a very, very brief moment, and sellers still make a lot of mistakes there because in times gone by, the buyer came wanting information from the seller. Now the buyer comes ready to buy because he or she's done all the homework. They need to like your site. They need to trust you. And finally, ask them some questions about themselves that will help you sell them as you move to the second moment, which is the transaction process."
Bloom is addressing the Luxury Marketing Council here in Houston this week. His Bloom agency was sold to the French marketing services company Publicis Worldwide, and Bloom is now the U.S. chairman and CEO for that firm.