By: Alan Laderoute
In my relatively short 10 years as a sales rep for Pano, I’ve seen a lot of changes in customer behaviour. My peers, mentors and predecessors would definitely agree, and have no doubt seen even more change. One thing that has definitely changed is that, with very few exceptions, the days of commitment, handshake deals, lunch deals and long term customers are gone. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless of course you don’t realize and don’t adapt.
So what is the new norm, what has changed, what are customers doing now? I think that there isn’t any norm anymore, customers are always changing, moving their business, trying new things, looking for new ideas and more innovative products all while maintaining a high standard of quality, service and price. For a medium size company like Pano, it’s sometimes challenging to get the attention of the right people at the right companies to show them what we are capable of doing. We continue to booth at some trade shows, but it’s been suggested even that is becoming an old model. A few years ago we re-worked our website and stopped printing our brochures for customers because almost everyone preferred to look at our website instead. Since then people are communicating, making new contacts and doing business through linked in more than ever, so we need to follow suite and focus on those areas more. I know personally as a consumer, I research everything online before I make any purchase. I compare specs and prices and make up my mind before ever going to the store, so there is no doubt that our customers are doing the same.
With that in mind, we put plans in place earlier this year and hired a marketing student, Andre Fischbacher. He has been working hard and I am proud to say that we are very close to introducing a lot of great new changes online to our website and other social media. All in an effort to capture the attention of today’s customer and giving the best possible experience.