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Did you ever hear the comment, “don’t blink or you’ll miss it”? In today’s rapid-fire marketplace, the phrase is truer than ever. Technology and all of its “rewards” have us moving at blazing speed. Here in the 21st century, we’re living in a nanosecond culture. We need the fastest Internet access possible. We work wirelessly to keep mobile. We want 24/7 access and if we have to get in the car, we slip on a Bluetooth so we don’t have to 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 overnight (preferably free) because time is precious.
As a business person, you might be sitting there whirling with all the techno-tricks that pop up faster and more frequently than credit card offers. Take my advice: You know that time is valuable, so don’t waste it sputtering about the difficulty of keeping up with technology. Instead, embrace these tools that can grow your success and run with them.
With Nanosecond Technology, our world can literally change overnight. You have to keep pace with this dynamic, 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 ponder, 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, get your message out into the marketplace. Launch the new product or service now. Retool it later. If you wait, someone else will jump in and grab your market share. Or your idea will be outdated by the time it hits the market. Consider this reality: what freshmen college students are currently learning in the classroom will be obsolete by the time they graduate. Freshman today don’t know a world without the computer, without the cash register, without cable TV or color TV. So why should your business be any different? Slowing down and thinking is the equivalent of procrastinating. While you “wait and see”, the competition is taking action. So here’s your new strategy:
Do. Do. Do.
Take the lead. Be cutting edge. Even if you make a mistake – and lots of us do – you are still impacting your marketplace. And sometimes a mistake is just an opportunity to be seen and for your improvements to be more widely recognized.
Look at the automobile industry. The days of wandering from showroom to showroom are over. You go online, pick your car, choose the features, and click. Within 24 hours – and that’s the slow guys – dealers are nipping at your email with offers.
Look at retailers like BestBuy. They cross the channels of online and offline shopping. You get the convenience of online shopping and can then 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 tuned into the hyper-speed needs and wants of the Nanosecond consumer. They’ve got streamlined websites that deliver the information that consumers hungrily devour. Then they make it brilliantly simple to close the deal. Forget the bells and whistles. Go for function over Flash. Add a podcast or two – they’re easy and effective. Keep your site fresh with updates that will cause visitors to keep coming back. Where possible, create targeted messages that speak directly to the needs and wants of your customers. With the Internet, it’s easier than ever before to create “customized” sites with unique offers and messages and then instantly change or update the sites when new information is uncovered. You’ll be a thought leader, someone they turn to for fresh a perspective and someone they may turn to for purchasing choices.
Even if your key customers are the “old-fashioned” types who love a handshake and a printed brochure, realize that those people will exit the workplace in the not-too-distant future and their successors will be young, hip, tech-savvy buyers. Face-to-face is a foreign concept to 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 because the Internet has leveled the competition from a geographic perspective. You’re no longer worrying just about the company around the block or another rep encroaching on your territory. Competitors crop up from anywhere and before your radar senses these blips, they are stealing customers.
With such infinite reach, customers demand more than availability and competitive pricing. Now, more than ever, you need to distinguish your brand beyond the products you are selling. Products do not make you unique. The way you deliver and support those products will. The way you communicate to your customers will.
But the first step is to focus in on technological wonders. Learn how to use this to your advantage. Open your eyes and your mind to possibilities. Stay alert, get excited, ride the wave. But, above all, don’t blink!