Relationships Still Matter
How we Communicate Makes all the Difference
Do Relationships still Matter in Sales? It’s been said sales is a relationship business. You hear it so much it’s almost a cliché.
The world has changed though. We can’t interact like we used to. Handshakes have been replaced by elbows and sales meetings have been replaced by zoom meetings.
Even before COVID picking up the phone and calling someone was replaced by picking up the phone and texting someone. It’s the world we live in. Everything is on Demand. Technology has advanced the speed and effectiveness of our communication, but it has also influenced the way in which we strengthen and build our interpersonal relationships.
The pandemic has taught us that we can work efficiently and in many circumstances be more productive remotely but
w does all of this effect our lives from the way we communicate to how we build relationships that are long lasting, and keep them? We connect with people daily on LinkedIn and other forms of social media from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Whats App. We are also living in the land of Zoom and many people are still working from home either part time or all the time depending on which part of the country you live in. And let’s face it anxiety over jobs, income, and just paying the bills is causing high anxiety for many people. The good news is that many have had to change pace and are Reconnecting with family, friends, and neighbors again.
Being forced to realign has forced people to become more organized. But, it’s easy to get caught up and locked up in your home office and forget to take a break.
Gregg Burkhalter, “The LinkedIn Guy” who specializes in personal branding knows the value of unplugging and the importance of recharging his batteries. Gregg points out that “being refreshed allows you to communicate more effectively, make better decisions, and become more productive.”
Relationships are important in sales and in life and even though the landscape has changed we still need to communicate effectively. Without effective communication we can’t build and strengthen the long lasting relationships we desire in our personal lives and in business.
Assuming we start our home office days refreshed and ready to go, how do we best communicate in the world of Zoom and advanced technology in general? Building new relationships and maintaining valued relationships will depend on it.
Duffie Dixon, of Duffie Dixon Media and former long time TV news reporter from Atlanta offers these tips for Zoom:
“Look directly into that camera lens when you are speaking. I know it feels unnatural, but it is so important. It makes listeners feel you are looking them straight in the eyes and talking directly to them. When choosing a background, remember less is more. You want the focus to be on you and what you are saying. Don’t give people on the call distracting pictures and cluttered bookshelves to look at while you’re delivering your message”
When using email, don’t decide to become a columnist or write War and Peace. Be clear short and to the point. Remember however, there is no voice in an email an often times key points that could be conveyed in normal conversation can get lost in translation. Stick to key points when possible and if things get too lengthy considering an attachment or summarizing with bullet points.
Texting, Slack, Whats app, Facebook, and Twitter are all part of our world culture now and are all great ways to communicate and a great way to keep in touch, but with any relationship at some point try picking up the phone to call and not instant message. It’s actually difficult in today’s world so choose the time when you need the quality conversation or sense that that the other person could benefit from the sound of your voice. It shows that you have a genuine interest in them and genuine interest is a building block to a strong long lasting relationship.
Get used to using your phone as a phone to really communicate and not as social media device. Dale Carnegie said, “A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
I’m not sure but I think when Stephen Covey said “seek first to understand before being understood, He meant in conversation not in text or email or social media posts.
Effective communication is largely dependent on understanding personality types and reading body language. If you must do that through phone or a zoom call,
· Listen to the pace and tone of the persons’ voice.
· Key in on the type of questions they ask
· How much space is there between sentences?
· Are they interested in the detail or the cliff notes?
· Are they clear and succinct or do they wander?
· Do they speak in clear thoughts?
· Do they run on and on and circle back on the same topic?
You can learn more about personality types and how they are important in overall communication and relationships in the book “The Four Pillars of Sales” www.fourpillarsconsultinggroup.com
The world has changed and we are all searching for that new norm. Through it all it is important to remember that we are social creatures and maintaining existing valued relationships and building new ones is more important now than ever. It’s important in sales, in business, and personally. Communication technology will continue to evolve. The challenge for us is to never lose the human touch even if today it is an elbow, a smile through a mask, a wave, or a zoom call.