Our goal: make the customer happy.
However, every day people spend so much time hooked up to some form of technology, that we can see some of the aftershocks in the way of a loss of "people skills".
No matter how many media devices we have, none of it can compare to the all important face-to-face contact we make with customers – and the positive impact this interaction has in building strong, long-lasting relationships.
Who would have thought twenty-five years ago that salespeople couldn’t get along without their Blackberry, laptop or IPad?
These gadgets are great, but they should be used as a tool to assist you with your customers- not replace you – in the sales process.
In the past, sales required a face-to-face interaction with a customer to initiate the sales call, make the presentation, offer the close and follow-up on either the sale or the next step in the sales process.
And, while the "older" salespeople might have a problem adjusting to and learning the present day use of technology, they could always fall back upon their time-proven techniques and make sales. Could the same be said about the modern techno-salesperson if you took away their Blackberry, laptop and IPad?
…Those people who have been in sales before this technology explosion understand the importance of keeping people engaged in sales, customer relations, customer service – in other words, relationship building and nurturing.
Today it seems that many of the newer players need to be told the importance of "nurturing" the customer. Because as many of us in sales know, you must establish trust and credibility with prospects – always remembering that people are still people – with their own opinions, instincts, and emotions. And there are people who buy based on those emotions and instincts, and based on the impression that the salesperson has left with them.
Being face to face with people and the customer allows prospects to get a feeling of who you are, and whether they trust you enough to do business with you in the future – or not.
You, YOUR brand and what you stand for will stay with you and your customer throughout your career, and how you are perceived in person, as well as online, should be one and the same. Customers and prospects will formulate an opinion of YOU – and all of the technology in the world will not change a negative opinion.
Whatever technology that you do use, make sure that it represents you and your values correctly. One bad comment or picture on Facebook could destroy a reputation – that took you a lifetime to develop – in seconds!!
It is through this personal contact that the passion for business, products and service is engaged and shared between salesperson and client. No form of technology will ever completely replace the power of building customer relationships face to face.
Of course, many business transactions take place online, or through some form of media, however, you first have to prove yourself to the customer – gaining their trust – and then all of the social media "magic" will do what it needs to do.
…Many times throughout our lives we find that we need to get back to "basics" and remember what is at the core of our endeavors. It is these basic, core skills that are going to lay the groundwork to becoming and staying great and successful in sales.
Maybe it is time to review your basics - realizing that in doing so you are maintaining the human connection – and remembering that you are still selling you first. I believe that social media is necessary in further building you brand, enabling you to "keep up" with business demands, however, we should never forget the importance of true one-on-one relationship building.
I have written books on both of these subjects, and the truth is that one without the other will not sustain you in your business career or get you those important customer connections that are at the core of the sales process.
Know the importance of both – and you will find that balance that will help you show the customer that you are there for them – both technologically, and personally.