Jim Blasingame is a very cool guy. He hosts a syndicated radio program called “The Small Business Advocate Show.” I’ve been fortunate enough to be a guest. He is the author of Small Business is Like a Bunch of Bananas, and Three Minutes to Success. Both of these are must reads if you’re in business for yourself, or thinking about starting a business.
His new book The Age of the Customer (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_18?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+age+of+the+customer&sprefix=the+age+of+the+cus%2Cstripbooks%2C176) is dynamite. In this book Jim discusses the once in a lifetime marketplace shift we’re in the middle of right now, and how business owners can prosper from the shift from the age of the seller to the age of the customer.
I read The Age of the Customer and then went back and reread it with a highlighter. It’s that good. Jim’s major premise is that relevance is the biggest driver of business success in the age of the customer. He also shows you how to become the chosen one at what he calls “The Moment of Relevance.”
Jim argues (and I agree) that now your customers and prospects have access to most of the information they need before you know that they’re interested. This is true if you’re in business selling widgets, services or yourself while looking for a job.
Let me give you a real life example. Earlier this month I decided that I wanted a Chromebook. The first moment of relevance occurred when I stated exploring the difference between tablets and ultralight computers with a keyboard. A computer with a keyboard made the most sense for me. The second moment of relevance came when I was choosing the Chromebook I wanted. I did what almost everybody does these days. I went on line and began comparing Chromebooks. Samsung, Acer and HP are the three biggest competitors in this category. I read user reviews and ultimately chose a Samsung machine. I walked into Best Buy and walked out with a Samsung Chromebook five minutes later.
Do you get it about the moment of relevance? The Samsung, Acer and HP websites all told me that their machine was the best thing since sliced bread. The user reviews convinced me to buy a Samsung machine. This blog post will become part of someone else’s moment of relevance – if they dig deep enough – when they’re considering buying a Chromebook. As Jim says, “anything customers can do for themselves is where service tops and relevance begins.”
That’s how the moment of relevance plays out in product and service purchases. But it also plays out the same way when you’re looking for a job. These days, most employers google candidates they are considering inviting in for an interview. They check you out on Facebook and LinkedIn. The see if you have a blog. They see if you’ve commented on industry blogs. If they find nothing for you, they are more likely to bring in a candidate who is active on social media. They look for signs that indicate that you’re likely to fit with their corporate culture. They form a strong opinion of you before they even meet you.
These two examples show you why you need to read The Age of the Customer. We’re all in sales – even if we’re just selling ourselves. This book will show you how to sell – yourself, your products and your services — at the moment of relevance.