Technology Isn’t Always The Answer
Have you ever felt like a business was so in love with their cool new technology they forgot to connect with you as a customer?
A new trend that comes to mind is the restaurants where you walk up and place your order on an iPad and pay without having to talk to the person at the front counter. I love the idea of this, and yet, it feels very impersonal when the person at the counter doesn’t say hello, smile or welcome me when I walk up.
One drawback to technology is when it’s used to replace making authentic connections with the important people in our lives including clients and customers.
For those who’ve attended one of my trainings, you’ve heard me mention, my success in sales has been built on long-term client relationships, rapport and making authentic connections. The relationship takes priority over the sale. This fundamental belief has served me well over the years. Every now and again, I get concerned this idea of relationship selling is no longer the norm, it’s the exception.
Technology should be used to enhance the relationship, not replace it.
Recently, I was in the audience where the speaker got up and started her presentation by showing a 2-minute video of herself talking into a camera and telling the story of why she started her business. The video was beautifully shot, the story was interesting, and my guess is she paid a lot of money to have this video available on her website. However, I wasn’t on her website. I was in the audience, live, wanting to feel connected to her.
Had she told the story live it would have had a dramatically different impact on the impression I formed of her. Once the video was 10 seconds in, I had to fight the temptation to pull out my phone and start checking emails. I struggled to stay invested and interested as a member of the audience. If I wanted to watch her video, I could have visited her website from the comfort of my office. Instead, I drove over an hour to get to the presentation to hear her speak and sat in rush hour traffic coming home.
This is an example of how we can easily fall in love with technology (in this case, a professionally shot infomercial) and have it actually diminish rapport and connection with potential clients.
Your Savvy Sales Tip for the week: Technology should be used to enhance your client’s experience, not replace authentic connection and conversation.
Here are 3 mistakes to avoid when using technology in place of making authentic client connections:
- A video is a poor substitute for an authentic conversation. When you have an occasion to meet a client face to face, don’t show your client a video of someone talking to a camera telling them something you could just as easily tell them yourself. Face to face meetings are opportunities to build rapport and connection.
- Returning a client’s call with an email. Having an actual conversation is always a better option. An email may be more convenient for you. However, it should only be sent if it’s more convenient for your client. Pick up the phone and call your client back.
- Adding everyone you know to a Facebook Group to sell your product/service. Many of you social media savants know this is considered bad etiquette.
Here are a counter-example and a much better way to build community online: Last week, I received a private message through Facebook inviting me to be a part of a new group a business coach was forming. She took the time to explain the purpose of the group and issued the invitation. It was up to me to respond and let her know if I’d like to be added to her group. She didn’t just automatically add me. What an awesome rapport builder this coach is, and it shows her level of professionalism! Of course, I responded right away and thanked her for the invitation and let her know I’d like to be a part of her group.
There are so many more examples that could be added to the list above. What others come to mind for you?
To be successful in sales long term, you’ve got to spend the time to build the relationships. Sometimes it requires you making a bigger effort to authentically connect with your prospective and existing clients.
Wishing you continued success in all you do this week.