Talking 'Bout My Generation
Technology moves about a mile a minute these days. You've finally mastered Facebook only to discover the next big thing has already happened. Now apply these technology shifts to sales. Some salespeople prefer sticking with traditional methods that have stood the test of time; others choose to ride the technology wave. When it comes to building business relationships, knowing which technique your client is comfortable with and planning accordingly can make the difference between success and failure.
Bruce Felber, MAS, director of marketing and sales support at The Image Group, Holland, Ohio, favors a more personal approach involving face-to-face meetings.
"Me personally, because I'm old, [I] like face-to-face meetings when building new relationships," he said. "It's essential to make one-on-one contact when building trust that you can't do over the phone."
Felber attributes this to his generation. Veteran salespeople cut their teeth in the industry during a time when technology was less advanced. Meeting in person was simply the way they did business.
"For my generation, we grew up on face-to-face meetings for building relationships and customer loyalty," Felber recalled. "The younger generation uses technology, and I certainly do too, but I don't like to use it to build relationships. You can use it for standard communications when you have a relationship, but when you're going for something high-powered beyond commodity sales, I always go face-to-face."
For many Millenials, and even Generation Xers, however, technology plays a bigger role. Mark Graham, co-founder and chief platform officer of Toronto-based commonsku, feels that technology can do things for his business that traditional methods simply cannot.
"You can interact with your customers on social media in a way that you couldn't 10 years ago," he explained.
According to Graham, the development of social media platforms has had a large effect on his business. He attributes this to the reason in-person communication has dropped.