We don’t like people who are inauthentic. We don’t like phonies, frauds, or fakes. We like people who are real, honest, and congruent.
We also don’t like to do business with people who are only telling us what we want to hear so they can make a sale. We don’t appreciate someone using what they know about us to manipulate us, persuade us, or coerce us into taking action—especially for their gain.
Do You Know Me
Intimacy is difficult to automate. The fact that computers now know more about you than your doctor, your lawyer, your priest or rabbi does not mean that you have any level of intimacy with the company who owns the data. You may love Facebook, but it doesn’t love you back. Intimacy is something uniquely human, or at least limited to sentient beings, and something that isn’t easily replicated.
The recommendation engine on an online bookstore isn’t the same as Brian calling to tell me he found a signed, first edition of Richard Nixon’s autobiography.
Do You Care
The pre-written email that is sent after a computer determines that there is something of note in your communication that calls for an empathetic response is not the same as a phone call from a human being that personally reaches out to you.
Empathy isn’t something that can be outsourced to microchips.
There are some communications that are so transactional that they can be automated, like communications that give you information without requiring any real conversation. Sales campaigns, especially campaigns designed to acquire a commitment for time, require a real conversation. That conversation is the only way one party can address the other party’s concerns. Automation isn’t conversation.
Because something is possible doesn’t make it the right choice. More still, like or not, you are telling your prospective client how you feel about them when you automate what should be human. You are projecting that you believe they are a transaction, and not a human.
As long as you are selling to humans, sell like a human.
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Filed under: Sales