Recently my brother and I visited a high street, high-end audio equipment retailer. In the hushed tones of faux luxury we browsed under the gaze of a self-important salesman. My brother didn’t need him – he knew all the models, the specs, comparison prices and that some of these very expensive hi-fi units were already superceded. We walked out without conversation or purchase.
The concept of a middleman as a gatekeeper – someone you must go through to purchase – died several years ago. The only way to survive as a middleman now is to add value that a customer needs and can’t obtain on their own. Be an advisor, simplifier, connector, risk carrier, troubleshooter … whatever your prospective customers need.