by Tim Connor, CSP
In this high tech world, it is easy in manufactured and modular housing sales to get caught up in the latest terms and trends. When you do so, remember: Don’t lose the human touch –
Technology is a wonderful thing as long as it is used as a sales tool and not a crutch. Let me give you a recent example where I didn’t practice what I preach and it came back to haunt me.
A client e-mailed me and asked me about doing a program for their management team. I emailed her back and she emailed me back – yada yada yada. The final email (the fourth exchange) she decided that she didn’t have enough left in her training budget to hire me.
My point. The email exchange took place over a period of five days and the outcome was not exactly what I would have liked. In hindsight I asked myself, “Why didn’t I just pick up the phone and call her and get it resolved one way or another in one ten minute conversation in one day? When I add up the time to create, write and send five emails and then read her five emails the time spent totaled a little over an hour. This was only one prospect. Multiply that times several prospects a day or week and I am sure you see my point – five to ten hours a week or more that could have been reduced to less than thirty minutes of your time.
Why do salespeople rely so heavily on:
And any other technology that’s up and coming out there that we are not aware of yet.
Let me give you a few things to consider when it comes to the use of technology.
Don’t assume that your customer or prospect is as technologically inclined or literate as you are.
When you communicate by email or voice mail messages you may be letting them off the psychological or emotional hook of giving you a no or sales resistance – live, which may be a bit more uncomfortable for them, but necessary to move the sales process forward.
Compute the time required to: create, write, send and respond to a single email and wit for a response vs. picking up the phone and talking with them.
Successful salespeople build strong, loyal, positive and creative relationships with their prospects and customers. This may be less likely to happen via the written word. How would you feel if your son or daughter never called you but sent you periodic emails? Technology can help relationships, but it may be harder to build or fix a relationship when email is the primary or sole tool.
The uncertainty of waiting for a response to an email you sent can be very frustrating, emotionally distracting and this could have a negative impact on your other sales activities or efforts and ultimately your success while you are waiting.
I used to have a rule that I would be willing to leave a voice mail or send an email to a client, but never to a new prospect. That rule has just changed. If it is a critical issue it requires live personal contact for clients as well as potential new customers.
I suggest that you evaluate how you are using technology in your sales career and determine:
- If you could be slowing down the sales cycle.
- If you are avoiding personal contact for any reason.
- If you are letting prospects and clients off the emotional hook.
- If it is hurting your sales efforts or success in any way.
Are you letting technology get in the way of building positive professional relationships? # #