There’s no doubt in my mind that to be successful at selling, you need to make human to human connections. I’ve always believed that. The thing is, how can you humanise your sales process when you’re not actually meeting your customers face to face, you’re not speaking with them directly on the phone, or a technology-based lead generation platform has determined your sales process?
Don’t get me wrong. I am a massive fan of using technology to be more productive. I wouldn’t survive without the many systems, apps and platforms I leverage. It’s just that I don’t want to lose the ability to engage and truly connect with the people with whom I do business. Working remotely (in a home office) has not changed my need for human connection; in fact, it has strengthened my belief in the basic human need for human contact. To be honest, I have leveraged more technology in my quest to have more human connection with everyone while in lock-down. This has resulted in a boost in my business and deeply satisfying outcomes for those who I have helped grow their business during these tough times.
To be frank– I feel that we’ve stopped taking each other for granted and are making more effort to get to know each other. Understanding our strengths, challenges, desires, goals, visions and how we can help each other. To not only survive, but more importantly, thrive during tough times, and into the future.
I’ve used technology to help me achieve all of that. I’ve used it to help me be more human and to connect at a deeper level.
There is no problem that doesn’t have within it the seeds of its own solution.
- Alexandra Stoddard
When you delve into what some of these technology platforms can do, you will find ways of being even more human than ever before.
Recently, my husband & I were due to have an online (Zoom) meeting with a property developer, real estate agent and architect to discuss plans for an apartment that we were considering purchasing. Soon after the discussion started, it was evident that we were struggling to be in sync with the fine detail. I asked to take control of the Zoom meeting, shared the plans on the screen and proceeded to annotate with different colours for each area being discussed. After the meeting, the real estate agent called me directly and was super impressed with what we were able to achieve in a short space of time. Being visual with the plans helped everyone focus on the discussion and by having that group of people connected all at once, meant decisions were made and limitations explained, without to-ing and fro-ing via email. Not only was this online meeting productive, it was relaxed and friendly and went a long way to putting faces and voices to the names which would typically be included on the email trail.
Right now, online meetings and social media engagement is what we have to work with – so how can you humanise these interactions in a way that utilises the technology and helps you stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself.
Well– I have a few ideas for you…
- The virtual cup of coffee – find out where your customer likes to get their coffee and organise a café credit or gift card for them. Then when booking your online meeting – call it a virtual coffee meeting and suggest they grab a coffee first (on you).
- The virtual lunch meeting – organise for a local café or restaurant to deliver a Pizza etc. to their house and ask them to join you for lunch.
- Bring your pet to the meeting. If they have a dog (or other pet), you could suggest that you both bring your pet in the home office for the meeting and get them to meet each other. Even though we’re talking about ‘humanising’ – pets ‘humanise’ us more than anything!
- Then there’s social media engagement. LinkedIn, for example. To stay top of mind with your current network, you can give them ‘kudos’, or provide a recommendation. You can also endorse them for their top skills. Use voice messages, or even better, video messages (available on the LinkedIn Mobile app) – this is so much more human than an inmail, text message or email.
To stay relevant with your customers, time-efficient in your processes and effective in staying true to the human element of business sales – you will need to embrace the technology, leverage it and get really good at it.