4 communication tips for the digital age

| By:
Mark Sokol

Warning: This post may appear to fly in the face of technological advancement, but please stick with me. I am going to tell you how to stand out and sell more in an ever-growing, impersonal digital world.

I recently attended the AA-ISP Leadership Summit. It was a great event with top sales managers looking for the inside edge for their sales teams. One thing that stuck out to me was the overwhelming number of conversations I heard about digital selling, efficiency, and automation. I agree that processes and technologies make your team a well-oiled machine. Sales is all about the numbers, and I get that.

But, I caution that we’re losing something incredibly powerful in today’s digital world—and that is the power of a personal relationship. Never underestimate this.

Down the rabbit hole

It’s easy to get sucked down the digital rabbit hole. The first thing your client sees is your website, which they might visit 1 time or 30 before they convert. Maybe the next step is a poorly personalized automated email. Their next touch from you might be an auto-dial, where a rep hasn’t done proper research on who their company is, or more importantly, who they are. Then, they’re likely placed on a marketing automation drip, which may or may not include relevant messages.

People don’t want to buy from a faceless company. As people become more sucked in to social media and interacting with strangers in 140 characters, I challenge you to go the other way. Create those meaningful relationships. This will be your competitive advantage in a digital area.

Make the connections

What are some ways to do this? Really, the sky is the limit, but here are a few places to start:

1. Social media is king

Don’t forget the importance and increasing use of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Your clients are probably using them, and so should you. When you have a voice on social media, your prospects and clients see you as a real person, and your interactions give you insight into their likes and dislikes.

2. Meaningful communication

Don’t let your emails go the way of the spam messages your clients get all day. Truly personalize your communication with pictures and content that really relate. Rely on photo signatures to help your clients put a face to a name and get to know you better.

3. Get the details

Make an effort to know a few details about each of your clients’ companies. When you can make immediate connections, you’ll establish trust faster. When you know more about the companies you’re working with, you have an automatic advantage over the competition.

4. Be polite but persistent

Don’t let the relationship falter by failing to follow up on calls. Keep the conversation going even if your client isn’t ready to buy, so they know you’re still committed to meeting their needs. When you’re persistently involved in making their business better, you establish yourself as an ally ready to take on problems as they arise.

Let your commitment to personal connections in your business relationships be what sets you apart from the competition. With a few small tweaks at a time, you can shift your sales model from an impersonal business to one that makes clients feel like they matter every step of the way, and that translates to happier clients and a better bottom line.