One of the defining elements of this age is the screen. They’re everywhere. They are in your hand, next to your bed while you sleep, with you in the kitchen, on your lap while you are in front of the legacy screen that is the television, and right in front of you while you are working. What’s odd about the screen is that the primary way we use it is to communicate with each other. Because the screen is ubiquitous, it has become the primary tool for communication, regardless as to whether it is the appropriate medium.
The more important the communication, the more important is the choice of medium. There are some conversations that are better had in person, or on a video conference (still a screen, but I can see your face), or over the telephone. Because opportunity creation is the critical factor in growing sales, the choice of medium matters. Creating opportunities is a prerequisite to winning those opportunities.
Some, however, choose to sell from behind the safety glass. They approach selling like it is marketing, preferring not to have to rub against other human beings, especially when there might be conflict. They’re happier hitting send on an email message than they are actually dialing the person’s number and speaking to them. An unanswered email is a better form of rejection than actually hearing another human being say “no,” and having to deal with resolving that person’s concern.
It’s safer behind the glass. You eliminate the possibility of dealing with a difficult person.
But it isn’t safer behind the glass. As is true in many areas, we tend to fear the wrong danger. The greater danger in not engaging with other human beings in a more effective medium is that you don’t create the opportunities you need. The greater danger is in doing everything in an arm’s length, hands off manner that eliminates the ability to create a preference for you. The risk here is that your competitors, the ones who are willing to do what you will not, are showing up, developing relationships, and creating a preference themselves.
Every communication medium is important. They should all be used to communicate with your clients and prospects, even text messaging. Each medium should be chosen by the importance of the outcome alone, not what makes you comfortable.
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Filed under: Sales Acumen