They don't need our permission to peruse our website, comparing and contrasting ours with...our competitors.
Neither do our prospects.
Now with smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops they can do this 24 x 7. Of course, they, we all, did this via word-of-mouth from the time there were two customers who compared and contrasted...fruit, snakes, size and speed of gazelles, elephants, whales...vs us.
I was reminded of this obvious, but often and conveniently overlooked, reality last week. Over lunch with a friend from a long lost company, we caught up on our lives and jobs, successes and failures and entertaining parts of our lives. We revisited the time our Sales VP was angry at a prospect.
He should have had that conversation without us. He shouldn' have made that decision on his own....without talking to us first.
That decision was to buy our competitor's product that was priced 70% cheaper - that was easier to find on their website, that was explained in clearer terms. We both remembered being barely able to stifle a laugh, a guffaw, a SERIOUSLY? long enough to find another job.
Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, we lost that one. We lost a lot more, too. 10 times as many, I bet, from prospects who never bothered to tell us.
We lost customers, too, because they did their own research, without asking our permission, and discovered the same. They didn't need our permission to make a decision in their best interests with the information we gave them.
Quite frankly, we gave them permission, even opening the door for them, with our out-of-date prices, poorly designed website and our leadership's arrogance.
And, we - all the employees, did our own research and realized management was not listening, would not listen and never would listen. We made our own decisions and left.
Bottomline? They don't need your permission. You need theirs.