Trends in Social Communication

 

So much communication in our personal and business world is now electronic as we text, email, and chat online. It seems that nobody wants to talk face-to-face with anyone anymore! 

 

Conversations that once required a personal meeting or a phone call can often be handled through email and text messaging. 

 

All this technology can make the nature of a sales professional’s relationship with a customer very impersonal and, of course, less effective, especially for customers who want to avoid salespeople. 

 

Here’s an example.

 

Ginni is a sales professional who depended heavily on electronic social communications. She sent a proposal via email to a customer then followed up via text message asking the customer to confirm receipt and inquire about next steps. Later that day, Ginni received a text message response from the customer that contained no words—just a custom graphic of an animated person staring at a smartphone with a puzzled look. 

 

Ginni was puzzled too and was unable to decipher the meaning of the cryptic message. What does this mean? Did the customer hate the proposal? Did he understand the content? Is he shocked by the price? She spent way too much time stressing over the cryptic response, and after several hours of anguish, she finally picked up the phone to gauge the customer’s impression, walk through the elements of the proposal, and ensure a proper understanding of the situation. 

 

Sometimes sales professionals get too comfortable using non-vocal forms of communication. This often slows down the process as a heavy dependence on electronic communications can limit the effectiveness the salesperson has in building a relationship. It also reduces the back-and-forth nature of voice-to-voice conversations. Salespeople depend on these to ask open-ended questions and engage in a deeper dialogue. 

 

I’m DJ Sebastian. We’ll continue discussing the changing trends in how customers buy and how you can transform your approach so you can prosper. 

 

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