Caveat Venditor: Up the Creek First Class with No Paddle

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

Caveat venditor means “we’re doomed”. At least those of us in the sales profession that continue to work the status quo while holding on for dear life. Employers who insist on doing things the same way are doomed too.

The term caveat venditor means “seller beware” in Latin. It’s a term used by Daniel Pink in his incredible work, To Sell Is Human, that describes how most of us today are going to be forced into some kind of position in sales.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll all be quota-carrying sales reps, but it does mean that while the world economy creates more and more small businesses, we’ll all be required to sell (at least a little).

1 in 9 workers in the US is presently self-employed. This number will only increase over time and with it so will the requirement that we all sell to survive and thrive.

The Traditional World of B2B Sales

The whole world of B2B sales has done a topsy-turvy-sideways-backflip and it’s resulted squarely in the favour of the buyer. Buyers are now able to do a significant amount of research on the internet and social media; all without a sales person’s involvement. This is going to force more and more businesses to be honest, transparent and accountable.

The days of buyer beware are coming to a close, friends. Okay, okay, some of us have heard this. But come on, is it really true?

Yes. And if you don’t pay attention you’ll miss one of the greatest opportunities in human history.

So are we really up the creek first class with no paddle? It depends.

If we continue to ignore the direction in which buyers are moving and join them in their buying quests, then yes, we’ll be utterly doomed. But if we do the opposite we’ve not only got a chance at survival but at sheer market domination.

Letting buyers move at their own pace, making available all information to them, proving out authority and expertise in ways that they want, etc. These are but some examples of how we can begin to wean into the new connection economy.

Buyers will buy – that’s what they do. Whether you’re there or not is irrelevant. But if you are there and you play in ways that genuinely help them, then chances are your efforts will yield massive profits.

How Social Selling Can Boost Your Efforts

If you practice social selling, you’ll have the ability to demonstrate your knowledge, expertise, and brand. Allowing buyers to digest this content is the modern-day equivalent of “walking the talk”. Cold calling someone and insisting that you’re a trusted advisor or begging them for an appointment really doesn’t help your case. It may bring short-term gains but the long-term horizon for you is iffy at best.

The Bottom Line

If you don’t want to be up the creek with no paddle, it’s time that you acknowledge the stark reality. Buyers want to be treated as human beings and cold calling them isn’t the only way to add value into their lives. It’s time you supplement your toolkit with social selling. Especially in the world of B2B sales, it’s imperative that you try.

Start now and adjust later if you must. But start now!

Have questions on how to get started with social? We’ve got a lots of resources to help you get started. If you’d like some advice on where and how to start, I can point you in the right direction.

Now please, help yourself to a paddle. It’s going to get crazy out there.

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