IBM struggles as the economy shifts from buying to renting. Here is the coverage of its latest revenue report in The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).
In Tucson, Arizona, where I recently relocated my ghostwriting/scriptwriting shop, I am renting a modem from Cox. Back in New Haven, Connecticut I had purchased a Netgear one for my AT&T DSL line.
In the past few years, as I opted to lease an apartment, not purchase a condo or house, friends pestered less and less about "wasting my money" on rentals.
And, of course, there is the sharing economy of Zipcar.
The rhetoric salespeople and marketers is changing along with all that. The focus is on the short term. Instead of embedding in the selling process or pitch language about The Relationship, the words and tone are focused on one product or service in concrete ways. There is also less room to upsell or cross sell.
The trick to attract prospects and close the sale is a micro approach. That represents a shift from the Big Picture. Increased is the importance of immediate incentives such as discounts, freebies and speed of response. Cox provided a $10 monthly special, waived the installation fee and was at my new apartment the day after I contacted it.
In professional services, we also have to approach the marketplace differently. Think project basis. Not long term clients.