Convergence – When Need Meets Timing!

So, I know that you have all been thinking about Convergence and what it means to your business? Right? Okay, well maybe not but it is important to your sales!

I was talking with a small business owner the other day and she said she felt more comfortable in a consultative role with her clients (her semi-exact quote is “I have never SOLD anyone anything, I help them figure out their needs and then help them achieve them”.

Well I think we can all benefit from that attitude, but at the end of the day EVERY business owner has to sell something to survive! From the top of wall street to the small business owner, we are in business to SELL something!

Okay, how does convergence matter to selling? Convergence (according to Wikipedia} “denotes the approach toward a definite value, as time goes on; or to a definite point, a common view or opinion, or toward a fixed or equilibrium state.” Holy buckets batman! What it means to me is the meeting of needs with a product.

As you can see in the graphic below, it is a movement from satisfaction with the status quo on through some pain to a buying decision. 

Convergence Slide
Convergence Slide

How about some example to clear things up!

Grocery Stores – In my area we used to have Albertson’s grocery stores. Now given a choice of ALL the grocery stores around the country, I would choose Wegmans but they are not in my area so I used to shop at Albertsons. I was in the green light for Albertsons. If they stayed the way they were, offering low prices, specials and half way decent service I would have continued to shop there indefinitely. They closed – sigh. So now I have to find a new grocery store (pain) and so I chose Publix. Not as cheap, cleaner and better service.

Web Browsers – I used Internet Explorer and Firefox until recently (these are different programs for accessing the internet). About a month ago Firefox did an update (that I hated) about the same time as Google offered a new browser Chrome. Well I tried the new browser and I like it! It has some great google features in addition to all the things that I had liked about Firefox. I would NOT have been in the market for a new browser had Firefox not made my back button big (I know – a stupid reason to switch) but since I was, Chrome came out at a good time for me to adopt it.

Homebuyers – My husband and I are considering moving to Colorado (our move is NOT a sure thing at this point) so I am going on websites to try and see what houses are available in the couple of towns we think we MIGHT like to live in. I DO NOT need to talk to a realtor at this point so I have not registered with any websites. I am in the green area of need, but there is no pain. Say that Johnny’s transfer comes through and he moves out there ahead of me, leaving me with 2 dogs, a cat, a mother-in-law and 2 more dogs. THAT IS PAIN! I will be SERIOUSLY motivated to find a realtor – RIGHT NOW – and get house hunting.

In each of these cases a change happens to the status quo of a buyer’s life. It is VERY hard to make enough noise in the marketplace to cause a change to people who are satisfied with a product that is working great for them BUT if they have a broken product or system OR no product or system and pain happens, they will be looking for help. 

This is where you come in with your direct mail, websites and emails. If you have been talking to that person about how your product, service or store can help them solve their problems, you can capitalize on their need! If you have built a great website that is easy to find on the search engines with lots of information about your product, services or store, they will find you and approach you for help. 

Make sure your marketing house is in order so that you can capitalize on changes in the marketplace that will occur in your favor! Advertise to people who MIGHT need your services so that when they DO need your services you are ready to sell them something!

Tara Jacobsen, Marketing Speaker, Consultant, AuthorTara Jacobsen is the owner of Marketing Artfully, a marketing services and consulting company focused on small businesses, entrepreneurs and Realtors. Find out more about her Small Business Marketing Services today!

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