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see the people

When I talk to new sales people (on my team or in other areas), I find myself saying one thing a lot.  “You need to go and see the people.”  This was the advice one of my first sales mentors gave to me.  And in a world that is driven by technology and social media, I think it is even more important than ever.  (I wrote a blog about the science behind why it works here).

Why do I say that it’s more important than ever?  Because most people are not doing it.  When you find that everyone is going one way, in business it sometimes makes sense to (thoughtfully) step the other.  When everyone else zigs, sometimes you should zag.  In addition, because we have so many wonderful tools for marketing and sales, we can get really lazy.  It’s not that new and current tools are bad.  They are not…and you should use them.  But you shouldn’t forget the basics either.  They are the foundation.

So should you continue to send emails?  Yes.  Should you prospect and sell using social media?  Of course.  Does it make sense to create content marketing that matters to your audience?  Yes…it does.

But you should also take the time to “see the people.”  Here are the three things that can happen when you take the time to meet your clients where they are.

They Will Feel Appreciated:  If you visit a client and show them real appreciation, you can go a long way to solidifying the relationship.  The fact is, none of us really say “thank you” enough.  I talk about this Appreciation Gap here.  By taking some time to show your clients they are appreciated, it will pay off long term.

You Might Learn Something:  It seems like every time I go and take time with a client, I learn something about them.  Sometimes it’s about a sales opportunity.  But sometimes I learn about an issue at home, or a challenge they are struggling with.  I often uncover something they are excited about.  Every time I feel like it helps to bring us closer.  It helps me serve them better.  I bet the same happens to you.

They Might Buy Something:  And yes, if the timing is right and the proposal is great, they might buy something.  That is, of course, the point of the exercise.  But I find that people are more likely to engage with me, listen to me, and buy from me if I am there.

So of course you should use all of the tools.  You should tap into the tech.  But don’t forget to be human…and see the people.

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