The Age of the Customer
This is a phrase coined by author/speaker Jim Blasingame. You may want to pick up his book, The Age of the Customer (affiliate link).
It's a Buyer's Market
The idea is that customers, and more so, potential customers are more in control of the buying/sales process than ever before. This is thanks to the plethora of information available on the Internet.
Those looking to buy can conduct their own due diligence on a product and company well before they ever engage with a sales person from that organization.
What You Can Do
This means the best tool available to those marketing their wares is to produce useful content and post it to the Internet -- where potential buyers are researching your type of products anyway.
In this scenario the best you can do is influence their research, and if you're good at content marketing, build a human relationship with your potential buyers via online content.
What I mean by that is, be sincere, know who your buyers are, what they care about and what kinds of information will be helpful to them. Offer free tips, how-to's and the like. Give to get. Influence your target audience with your content to let them know you care about them. I guarantee you they'll be more likely to connect with you when they're ready to talk to a sales person or better yet, when they're hot to buy.
Posted by: Nick Venturella