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