E-Versation Inefficiency

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While many people rely on email, text messaging, and various social media platforms to engage in communication with others, when it comes to sales –nothing replaces the power and effectiveness of a real live conversation. That said, I am increasingly coming in contact with sales professionals who are getting in the habit of creating and answering e-mails in lieu of engaging in face-to-face or phone based communication. While E-Versations can be a productive resource to remind customers, ask a quick follow-up or confirm an upcoming meeting or agenda item, it is not the platform for answering detailed questions, for responding to qualifying questions, or to motivate a prospect to meet with you.

There is no substitute for a powerful and productive conversation. No matter how efficiently you can crank out emails an E-Versation is not an interactive communication program. If you are using it, hiding behind it, or believing it adds value and efficiency — think again.

As sales professionals, we all experience the challenges associated with voice mail and e-mails becoming an obstacle to having productive conversations with prospects and potential clients. While it is part of the early engagement process with any client or prospect, it is important to keep the level of information shared in this process to a minimum. Here are some of my rules for engaging in E-Versations:

  1. Treat your email messages like you would Twitter. If you can say what needs to be said in 140 characters or less, send it. If not, use the short message to request a conversation or a meeting.
  2. Any request for information from a prospect or potential prospect requires more information than they are providing. Acknowledge their request for information and politely encourage them to set-up a conversation for you to learn more in order to be more receptive to their request.
  3. Providing technical information, features, benefits, or to overcome an objection is not an E-Versation efficient activity. If you need to explain, clarify, educate, defend or inform — that is a meeting. Schedule one.

You get the idea. E-Versations are a by product of laziness, fear, and reluctance. Engaging and informing your customer is not accomplished through your abilities to be a great author, they are best accomplished in your ability to engage in great conversations. Don’t confuse an E-Versation with a great conversation — there in nothing similar in the two.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Cooke
I leverage my 25 years experience in sales and marketing to create and implement strategic initiatives and develop educational programs that increase both revenues and profits. I take great pride in my experience in turbulent, chaotic, and transitional work environments. It is from these experiences that I have developed my commitment to collaborative teams, strong internal and external relationships, effective communication, decisive leadership, and a cohesive, collaborative strategy as keys to sustainable revenue growth.

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