The year is 2020. Those of us in sales are in an interesting dichotomy using “old school methods” to reach our prospect vs. using new-age technology to make our lives “easier”. I follow lots of experts in the field, read lots of sales books, and listen to a lot of sales podcast. What I can tell you, there has to be a balance.
If you are someone who is doing something the way its always been done, you will be irrelevant in short order. And if you are someone who solely believes in sales funnels, email automation, and a robot dialer, you also either lose market share or never obtain the market share you were after.
First and foremost what makes a salesperson successful is trust. Human interaction is not replaceable, no matter what some experts say. Some may call that old school, that new generations don’t care about developing relationships, but I would call that bullshit. I am 36, a “millennial”, and when I buy something I buy from someone or something I trust, 100% of the time. Now, the dichotomy of where we are today is if maybe I am brought in by a sales funnel, that is followed up with a phone call, great best of both worlds. Maybe I am put into a sales sequencing software program, or there is auto-dialer calling my number, all of which I advocate for and can appreciate. But my message to those of you entering the sales game is, if you want to be successful you can not be an order taker and rely on technology to be successful. If you want to succeed in sales you need to pick up the phone, make the drop-in visit, take someone to a happy hour or dinner, people trust people. People enjoy people. That is our nature, and until we sync with the machine nothing can or will replace that. And conversely, you have to adapt and should take advantage of the age we are in to make yourself more efficient, reach more people, make your name known easier than ever before. If you don’t, you will be replaced. So look at balancing both! If you work for a company that lacks in either one of these, then bring it to their attention. If this pandemic has shown us anything it is that you want to be NOT irreplaceable as an employee, and those that are forward-thinking and bringing value will be there for the long haul… much like your relationships with clients if you are utilizing the best of both worlds of good old fashion humans interaction and technology to help you get in front of those people, it is a winning cause for all parties involved.