Undoubtedly, the digital age has fundamentally changed how people both buy and sell. To counteract these radical shifts, a business’s global marketing strategy has to quickly adapt to these changes. At the same time, I am hearing more and more business professionals and thought leaders people claim that traditional sales tactics are dead, “that they simply don’t work anymore” I hear all too often.
While I appreciate their insights, I simply do not agree. Technology is very powerful and has changed many things about how we work, live and frankly go about our daily lives. But technology has not changed the importance of direct human connection and contact. Nor will it ever change that.
As you develop a global marketing strategy, don’t be so quick to write off the potential power of traditional sales techniques and practices. Henry Ford certainly didn’t achieve a 50% global market share with the Model T by using the Internet. Granted, the Internet allows us to do many things rapidly. We can now blast millions of people around world with a simple click of the mouse. But it’s still up to us to go out and proactively forge those critical business connections and relationships. That can’t be done over email or social media alone.
THE CONNECTIVE POWER OF A SIMPLE PHONE CALL
Let’s take cold calling for example – any bona-fide sales professional will likely tell you that a majority of their best deals started with cold calls. Alternatively, when was the last time you wrote a thank you note? I sent a client one the other day and he wrote me back to thank me for thanking him. Opening up with direct connection or closing deals with a personal touch will always go far.
We are constantly learning about newer ways to use the Internet and the latest technological innovation. It is simply part of our modern world. While the mass digital blast might have worked for a time, traditional, less tech-focused salespeople continue to prosper. How are they doing it? They are doing it by being memorable. When you take the time to call someone, send them a hand-written note or push for face-to-face meetings, you stand out and look much more attentive and caring than others who only reach out electronically.
CREATE A DIVERSE GLOBAL MARKETING STRATEGY
Don’t get me wrong. Digital technology and social media are great, I love them and no global marketing strategy can do without them. But if you are going to solely rely on these mediums of communication to build your pipeline, then that pipeline will likely take as long to develop as the Keystone Pipeline.
Simply put, it takes more effort to hang up on someone or toss a card then it does to hit delete, unsubscribe or even ignore someone’s social feed. Taking the time to put names to faces and build a relationship off line makes selling human, more effective and frankly, real. When it comes to business deals, people buy from people, not from your “quick question” email.
With all of the technology advances of our modern times, it’s no secret that as a society we are not only encouraging but almost forcing everyone completely depend on their computers and mobile devices. Do we really want to create and promote a society that is solely connected digitally? My kids for example don’t even know how to talk into a land-line phone, without placing it on speaker and holding it awkwardly.
I firmly believe that a global and tactical modern sales approach needs to combine several strategies to be successful. Those strategies should include some social media, some targeted and thought-provoking digital outreach. But they should also include snail mail, face-to-face meetings, innovative webinars and last but not least, the good“old-fashioned” cold call.
Some food for thought.