The Next Prong in Sales 2.0 is “E2E”

Our 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Joyce led us into the auditorium for televised French lessons on Thursday mornings. The PBS instructor would begin, “Écouter – écouter — la plume — la plume. Répondre – répondre,” which translates to, “Listen, listen; the pen, the pen. Respond, respond.”

Listening and responding are the essence of conversation. Quietly sandwiched between the two is understanding, for if one does not understand what they are listening to, the response is empty and vain.

Knowing the definition of the pen does not impart understanding of how and why it is mightier than the sword. 

“Why didn’t you “call” me?” and “Why didn’t “you” call me?” have two different meanings. From behind the keyboard, the sentences are identical, and discerning the difference is impossible.

Today we live behind the keyboard and as a result, there is less eye-to-eye (E2E), less understanding, and relationships are dying a slow death. Heck, you can delete a relationship with one click, but we aren’t quick to hang-up on a call or get up and walk out of a meeting.

In a recent edgy Focus roundtable called “Sales SmackOff,” part of my answer to “What should the modern salesperson look like?” included video calling. Video conferencing, like the tablet, failed the first go around, but like the Phoenix and the tablet, video calling is rising from the ashes.

Our culture and economy have made physical face-to-face meetings fewer and farther between. The keyboard is easy, inexpensive, and reasonably acceptable, but at great expense. The resounding absence of eye contact has hurt the sales profession by commoditizing the sales process.

Better content, better emails, and better texting do not give the buyer what they want, need, and crave. They have their place, but people are craving real connections more than ever. People need people – a twist on an old corny song – but no truer words have ever been spoken.

E2E is a higher quality, more transparent conversation that develops better connections, relationships, and results.  Phone calls come in a strong second place, but video calling, as Bell once pitched, “is the next best thing to being there.”

Video chat is the next wave of communications and will be embedded in websites and every device with a browser. Get ahead of the curve. Instead of writing an email, text, or tweet that does not convey the intricacies and nuances of E2E, setup a quick video call.

New ideas and new paradigms – change – all come with discomfort. Nevertheless, change happens and we either jump on the bandwagon, or, we fall behind.

Don’t follow the change, be the change.

Video chat with prospects and customers may seem edgy today, but video chat will become as common as your smartphone. Apple, Google, Skype and countless users already looking into other people’s eyes think so. B2B use of digital E2E is here for the taking. Here are four apps to elevate your sales game, and, don’t forget to look into my eyes the next time we talk.

FaceTime for IPad 2 & IPhone 4

Google Talk For Android

Google Video Chat for Mac & PC

Skype Video Calls

Think I’m looking in the wrong crystal ball, tell me what you think?

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  • http://www.salesdujour.com Gary S. Hart

    Michael,

    If this conversation influenced your thinking, then I owe you a thank you!

    You’re too nice to scare anyone off. Interestingly, this issue surfaced during a conversation about this post during #SalesTechChat. Has the keyboard lulled us into avoiding visual conversations? Selling is deeply personal. What is more personal than a visual conversation? Thanks for dropping by and adding your valuable insights.

    Regards, Gary

  • http://www.facebook.com/MichaelDGoodman Michael D. Goodman

    After reading a number of the comments before mine, I am inspired to change my thinking a bit. I came up through the ranks through a telesales position that has led me to be completely comfortable only using the phone. I can gain significant cues verbally and close sales fairly well, but what Dave Brock wrote brought me up short. I am a huge proponent of building trust and credibility with clients during the sales cycle. If the customer is more comfortable seeing my eyes, I am denying them an important tool for them by not using an E2E system. I have worked with companies making extensive use of GoToMeeting or Webex but neither of them push the webcam side of the conversation. I suspect dimdim does. Either way, providing clients and prospects a tool to see my face (if it doesn't scare them off completely) would be a huge value to their capacity to get to know how safe I am to work with. Nice call Gary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MichaelDGoodman Michael D. Goodman

    After reading a number of the comments before mine, I am inspired to change my thinking a bit. I came up through the ranks through a telesales position that has led me to be completely comfortable only using the phone. I can gain significant cues verbally and close sales fairly well, but what Dave Brock wrote brought me up short. I am a huge proponent of building trust and credibility with clients during the sales cycle. If the customer is more comfortable seeing my eyes, I am denying them an important tool for them by not using an E2E system. I have worked with companies making extensive use of GoToMeeting or Webex but neither of them push the webcam side of the conversation. I suspect dimdim does. Either way, providing clients and prospects a tool to see my face (if it doesn't scare them off completely) would be a huge value to their capacity to get to know how safe I am to work with. Nice call Gary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MichaelDGoodman Michael D. Goodman

    After reading a number of the comments before mine, I am inspired to change my thinking a bit. I came up through the ranks through a telesales position that has led me to be completely comfortable only using the phone. I can gain significant cues verbally and close sales fairly well, but what Dave Brock wrote brought me up short. I am a huge proponent of building trust and credibility with clients during the sales cycle. If the customer is more comfortable seeing my eyes, I am denying them an important tool for them by not using an E2E system. I have worked with companies making extensive use of GoToMeeting or Webex but neither of them push the webcam side of the conversation. I suspect dimdim does. Either way, providing clients and prospects a tool to see my face (if it doesn't scare them off completely) would be a huge value to their capacity to get to know how safe I am to work with. Nice call Gary.

  • http://www.salesdujour.com Gary S. Hart

    Hi Wim,

    It’s easy to not see change happening around us. The great thing is, you’re amidst the evolution and can help shape it and lead it. You have inspired an idea for another post; thank you.

    Webcam and microphone are from Creative Labs is built into my laptop and works fine. There is a variety of brands, shapes, and sizes with plenty of user reviews http://www.cnet.com and Amazon.

    Your flattering comment and catching my mistake are very much appreciated. Relying on my memory at my age is a mistake. I actually Googled responde, which showed up in the search, but I should have used the translator.

    Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.

    Best Regards,
    Gary

  • http://twitter.com/SalesSells Wim Wilmsen

    Great post again Gary!

    Can't wait for this evolution to happen really. What an upgrade it would be from regular phone calls. Nonverbal communication can be so powerful. I have skype conversation with clients but most of the time there's no video involved, which is a shame as I come to think of it. Should get me a good webcam, any suggestions?

    All the best,
    Wim

    ps: “responde” is not actually a word in french, you're probably looking for “répondre”. I'm sorry but my mother is partly French and she would kill me if I didn't try to help here :)

  • http://www.salesdujour.com Gary S. Hart

    Sandy,

    Knowing how impeccable you are about everything you do, does not create concern with how presentabile you are :)

    Gary

  • http://www.salesdujour.com Gary S. Hart

    Mike,

    If I you inspired new thought, then I achieved my goal, and look forward to your new ideas. Getting salespeople out from behind the keyboard is essential for maximum sales effectiveness, IMHO. Thank you dropping by!

    Gary

  • http://www.salesdujour.com Gary S. Hart

    David, I agree with osme of what you say and you have inspired a good follow-up to this post. Thank you for continuosly stirring good ideas. -Gary

  • http://www.partnersinexcellenceblog.com Dave Brock

    There are so many possibilities for communicating open to us these days. Sales people should master all, but utilize the channel each customer prefers. One thing I do with new people I meet is to ask what their preferred modes of communication are, ie landline, mobile, texting, email, etc.

    It's dangerous to assume our preferred mode is what our customers prefer.

    Thanks for a good discussion point Gary.

  • http://newsalescoach.com Mike

    Gary,
    Love this post. Made me have a few new thoughts. As a fan of face-to-face, I can see how effective your E2E concept could be for many salespeople with just slight adaptations to what they're used to. Thanks for being bold and giving all of us something meaningful to chew on!
    Mike

  • http://twitter.com/#!/sandyhubbard @sandyhubbard

    Hi Gary,

    Powerful prognostication!

    This post is crying for a follow up on time management, because I can't imagine how I will have time to keep myself presentable enough to skype chat every day!

    Thank you for keeping us ahead of the crowd…

    @sandyhubbard

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