How Digital Influence Affects The Buying Decision

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

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You don’t need me to tell you that we need to increase and improve our customers’ experiences for them to develop loyalty and advocacy to our businesses. Depending too much on new customers rather than selling more to existing ones is a sure-fire way to send yourself into oblivion.

Customer experiences are the new way to measure success in sales. They provide the foundation for everything else we build on. So what is the impact on people when they share experiences with others? How important is the measurement of their experience and how influential are people’s views?

Understanding how your customer thinks is the only way you can develop meaningful sales strategies. It also helps you to inspire a vision for what their overall experience could and should be. It helps you identify what your brand image should be now and in the future. And it will show you opportunities to determine where and how you can create value, deal with expectations and build activities that will drive further experiences and bring benefits to your business.

Did you know?

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92% Of People Trust Recommendations From Family/Friends

Neilsen’s 2012 Global Trust in Advertising Survey of more than 28,000 internet respondents in 56 countries showed that 92% of people trust recommendations from their family and fiends more than any other.

The digital age and social media has brought to the surface the specific ways that people buy today. Social Selling Training is becoming more and more popular and elements of social selling and online prospecting are included in most Sales Courses. A recent survey by Crowdtap has shown how the influence of peers has catapulted that particular medium of choice to the  top of the list of factors determining what and how we buy. Their ‘Power of Peer Influence’ showed the top ten influence factors on how people make decisions today.

The question was: What influences your buying decision? The percentage of people who completely or somewhat trusted the source were: (top ten answers)

92%…..Recommendations from people I know

70%…..Consumer opinions from people online

58%…..Editorial comments

58%…..Branded websites

50%…..Emails I signed up for

47%…..Ads on TV

47%…..Brand sponsorship

47%…..Ads in magazines

47%…..Billboards and ads outdoors

46%…..Ads in newspapers

This 2012 survey shows 92% of people surveyed were influenced by the opinions of people they know. 70% of people stated that they were affected by people’s opinions online.

This Crowdtap survey showed that:

*    70% of people were influenced online.

*    61% were influenced by word-of-mouth, either in person or on the phone.

*    59% were influenced by reading an article online (blogs, reviews, youtube videos, etc)

Your job, then, is to ensure your business keeps up to date with the dynamism that the market is showing. You have to move faster than your prospects and customers in order to define and lead customer experiences.

(Source: The Power of Peer Influence:

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great salesperson:

• 5 Top Tips For The Executive On LinkedIn
• A Quick Look Into Prospecting With LinkedIn
• 3 Small LinkedIn Tweaks That Increase Sales

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

450 sales questions free report

Updated on: 24 April, 2013

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