Toss the technology. Relationships rule in sales.
The Internet is the most powerful, life- and business-changing tool created in generations. But while technology has forever altered our sales processes, it won’t save our sales careers. It won’t solve our business-development challenges, nor will it improve our relationships with our customers. That’s our job.
Technology provides us with many great tools, but it is the person behind the LinkedIn profile, all the fancy gadgets, and high-tech presentations who actually makes the sale.
Email, texting, social networking—these certainly have their place in business today, but none of them replaces the power of an in-person connection.
Stop Communicating, Start Connecting
Humans need face-to-face contact with others. Even with whisper-light computing power and immediate, 140-character Twitter posts, we are a face-to-face species, one that thrives on interpersonal communication and being in the presence of like-minded individuals working together for a common goal.
Yet, take a look around you. How many people are multitasking on their devices as they walk down the street, while they’re crossing the street (not so safe), or even while they’re driving (super not safe)? How many people are so busy staring at their phones that they’re ignoring the human beings in front of them?
The digital world, as great as it is, threatens our personal connections. We’re losing the ability to talk to people. And that’s a big problem for salespeople. Our job is all about building relationships—which is done through meaningful conversations, not emails and status updates.
Relationships Still Rule in Sales
Executives are busy people. They will not take your cold calls or read your form emails, nor do they want to hear from you on LinkedIn. So how do you get past their gatekeepers and into the conference room? With a personal introduction from someone they know and trust.
At the end of the day, relationships still power sales. So don’t let yours fall apart because of that little device in your hand. Get out there and talk to your clients, prospects, and referral sources. Schedule in-person meetings, take them to lunch, or pick up the damn phone. You’ll be building relationships and closing deals while your competitors are still tapping away on their keyboards.
People do business with people, not with technology. Our smartest, tried-and-true tool for business development, lead generation, and deal closing has always been ourselves. So tweet less and talk more to the customers and contacts who really matter.
Joanne Black is America’s leading authority on referral selling—the only business-development strategy proven to convert prospects into clients more than 50 percent of the time. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and author of NO MORE COLD CALLING™: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust and Pick Up the Damn Phone!: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal. To learn more, visit www.NoMoreColdCalling.com. Follow Joanne on Google+ or Twitter @ReferralSales, or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Topics: B2B Sales