attention economy

Many people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. So how can B2B companies gain the interest of customers in the ever-expanding media jungle? The keyword is- attention economy.

Every sales representative knows it: “He will call you back”. Those who have relied on it are often abandoned. Very few callbacks, reply to messages or responses to attempts to contact them. Are so many people just unfriendly, and don’t stick to agreements, or why is that? It’s this one thing that I personally don’t like about my work in sales.

Nevertheless, it is no reason to give up your job out of frustration. To understand the behavior, you have to step back and think about the causes.

Everything used to be easier with attention

Everyone has a limited capacity of something very important: time! The average life expectancy for men in Germany is 78 years, and for women, it is 83 years. Converted into days, this means 28,470 days for men that can be filled with useful and less useful activities in life. In times when we didn’t walk around with internet-enabled smartphones, everyday life was automatically slowed down. I can still remember endless minutes at bus stops when I was just waiting for the bus when I was at school. Without checking emails, looking at the latest stories on Instagram or “pulling in” 50 TikTok videos.

The ability to always be online is also a burden. Information is always and everywhere available and we receive such a large number of impressions and messages that we can fill more than 28,470 days with them. We live in a world where people’s attention is a kind of currency.

The future lies in the attention economy

Attention economy is the keyword here. This concept of the information economy regards people’s attention as a scarce commodity. For example, you don’t just pay for the purchase of software with the pure price of the license, but with the time you invest in using the software. Sounds logical. So what can I do to get the attention of my ideal customers?

I have to give them something in return. As with any other barter, currency requires me to pay “attention” and worry about how to obtain it.

  • What does my information or my contact do in relation to this?
    Think about why the person should be paying attention to you. Help the person to be more successful in their job or to save time or increase sales. Is the conversation worth it for both parties or just for you?
  • You have to stand out from the crowd
    . In order to get attention, I have to stand out from the crowd. If my email just resonates with the crowd and is one of many boring, ad-laden emails, then the Delete key is pressed before the email is even opened. Maybe it’s enough if you conjure up a smile on the face of the other person through the writing style or the type of communication.
  • Use channels on which not everyone moves.
    “Social Selling” is certainly a useful channel, but also more than “overhyped”. What I mean to say is that every decision-maker receives several contact requests on LinkedIn every day, which are always structured according to the same principle: connect and pitch. Why not use channels that some people are too good to use or shy away from the costs. Be it a creative post or a simple phone call.


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