You don’t have to tell me twice that we are in a high tech world.Classic Selling in a Modern World
The applications, communities and gadgets serve as the tale of the tape and any business that chooses not to embrace these modern marvels are certain to be left in the dust; and you can take that to the bank.
But in a world where the business playing field has been leveled by cutting edge web design and social standing allowing micro organizations and solopreneurs to appear as global corporations, the search for separation in our businesses has reemerged.
Leaving us to continuously ask ourselves…How do we make ourselves and our businesses stand out?
While the answer is different for every individual and every business, something came to my attention recently that I think every business could benefit from hearing.
Sales in the Connected World
How many times in the past 5 years have you received an email in follow up from a meeting or visit you had with a sales person?
Of course the email is chuck full of phrases like
- “Thank you so much for your time today.”
- “We really appreciate the opportunity to serve your business.”
- “Please let us know what we can do to help.”
- “We look forward to a great future of working with your company.”
If you were really lucky the email had some combination of all of these. And if you were even more fortunate the potential business partner sent you a text, facebook note or tweet to further extend their gratitude for your time and the opportunity.
Of course the use of new media is great for staying in touch. But ask yourself this…Are we being lazy in our sales and follow up?
In the Olden Days
Before we proceed, I want to be clear, I’m not old (relatively speaking.)
As a millennial, albeit an older one, I have had the benefits of cell phones, email and internet from the onset of my career.
However, in the beginning days of my career the cell phone was really just a phone and the internet was not used in anywhere near the same capacity that it is used today.
Early in my sales career I used to have to make phone calls to set appointments, and I even occasionally would have to find a pay phone if I was in between major markets to let a customer know I was late or lost. (Cell service has come a long way!)
When it came to the actual sales meetings I made time to take customers to lunch, golfing or a sporting event. And when I visited their offices I would bring coffee or donuts for the office staff.
Furthermore, upon return I would take 10 minutes and write a hand written thank you to each customer I visited.
I still write these notes today and I cannot tell you how many potential clients have responded to this with both surprise and appreciation for the “Old Fashion” antics.
I’m sure today that there is still plenty of face to face selling, but I have watched as the relationships and the communications have become more impersonal.
Perhaps leaving the opportunity for a more personalized approach.
Does Classic Selling Still Work Today?
I think it all depends on who you ask, but I confident in saying there is a place for the best practices of classic salesmanship in today’s high tech world.
Picking up the phone to follow up or that hand written thank you letter all have a way of showing the human side to selling and building partnerships
In addition it shows a willingness to put just a little bit of effort into earning the opportunity to serve the customer.
Of course there is nothing to say that this extra effort won’t go unnoticed from time to time, but in a world like sales where no one wins them all, doing something to stand out may be just what is required to win that coveted last 5%.
So tweet, email and facebook with your clients and prospects all day long.
I will, you will and so will virtually every other business on the planet.
But consider adding a little classic flare into your modern approach to professional selling.
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