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I’ve been feeling flustered lately.
Yes – more than usual. But it seems like I’m not alone. I’ve seen many articles talking about this ‘cognitive fog’ that more and more of us are experiencing recently.
When I’m feeling like I need to cut through that foggy and sedated feeling, music helps! And nothing kicks me in the ass like a good punk rock tune!
Give this song by the ‘Godfathers of Punk’ a listen as we see what the experts are saying this week!
B2B Buyer Fog
There are more Americans who say they have serious cognitive problems – with remembering, concentrating or making decisions – than at any time in the last 15 years, data from the Census Bureau shows. And it’s not just ‘older’ adults – a significant portion of the data relates to young adults.
There are many potential reasons for this – long COVID, over-reliance on devices for everyday/simple tasks, increased stress, etc. But it got me thinking about how this relates to B2B. Since I started my career, researchers have been telling us, year after year, that sales cycles are becoming longer and more complex. Perhaps this aligns to that reduced ability to make decisions?
I see this with my clients – especially this year, as we throw economic uncertainty into the mix. I’ve noticed a marked increase in ‘pushed’ deals and a general lack of decisive action as it relates to spending and budgets.
According to Seth Godin, perhaps a more powerful estimate or Statement of Work is the way to get some movement and overcome any pricing objections.
“If your estimate:
- is clear and easy to understand by the sort of people you’d like to have as clients
- if it demonstrates full understanding of the work to be done
- if it highlights alternatives
- if it includes examples of proven satisfaction when you’ve done this work for others
- and if it’s delivered ahead of schedule
…then you’ve restated the problem. You’ve brought the client along on the journey with you, and established that they’re not spending more for the same thing, they’re spending more for a better, safer, higher status, more reliable thing.”
This might not be scalable – but perhaps it’s time to look at the quality of your SOWs and quotes. When you provide a quote, you’re giving a teaser of the craft you do. So the high standard you have for your own work should be reflected! Otherwise, you could end up with nothin’ to do and nowhere to go as your bids lose out to the cheaper alternatives.
As we know, COVID shut down live music for almost two years. Tours stopped, roadies lost their gigs, fog machines were shut down, and support staff were laid off. But once restrictions were lifted, the industry came back to life, albeit with a degree of difficulty. However – many roadies and musicians had already left the industry to pursue other careers to make ends meet.
The good news? This past summer has shown a return to the ‘before’ times for live music – huge shows, packed concerts and festivals, and record revenues.
The industry is dealing with rising costs (as we all are). Plus, Gen Z (the lifeblood of so many live scenes) are reportedly drinking less at shows, putting a BIG kink in an important revenue stream: smaller venues greatly depend largely on bar sales for survival, so there’s cause for worry.
And merch cuts are increasing. To compensate for higher costs and lower alcohol sales, venues are demanding that they get a greater percentage of merchandise sales – impacting revenue for the artist.
I think we all realize higher prices are here to stay – so what will the new reality be in the live music scene? According to Alan Cross, fans will have to make a choice between saving up their money to see a big act or using that same cash to see multiple smaller shows. Residencies are becoming popular with big artists – once you get to the airport and put yourself on a plane (and in a hotel room), it can cost a small fortune!
Impact on B2B? Inflation and interest rates are prompting everyone to look at their discretionary spending. Entertainment is usually one of the first things that gets cut. How will these concerns impact YOUR clients’ spending?
As always, don’t hesitate to call me to brainstorm or just say hello!
Rick Endrulat, President | email@example.com | www.linkedin.com/in/rickendrulat