Who has close, revenue-generating, business contacts that they have only seen from the waist up? A generation ago, relationships developed over the phone; not just business contacts or referral partners, but genuine relationships. The magic is the human connection! So, what is different in the present time? Relationships are potentially aggregated in larger numbers. That is it. In video conferencing the personal connection is established en masse. Interpersonal skills now require maximizing human connections, leading to business transactions, at a much larger scale. So, how does technology facilitate this greater benefit?
Organizations routinely have gifted sales professionals with uncanny abilities to connect across social, physical, and psychographic barriers. Connecting with other human beings is a talent that emphasizes listening skills, compassion, patience, and focus. The current reality rewards capabilities where the speed and scope of defined engagements continue accelerating. To keep pace, accomplished communicators in the video conference world, now must establish interpersonal connectivity at a faster rate. Imagine what that skill in a virtual environment means to a personal brand. The individual who now makes eye contact with dozens of people simultaneously has the power to produce at unprecedented rates. Productivity potential is accelerating before us regardless of the economy.
Realizing that current business environments suffer from pandemics, shutdowns, and layoffs, the successful business professional could be moving toward extinction. It is precisely that attitude that has people walking through empty shopping malls for exercise while they reminisce about bygone days of power shopping. The structure remains, but the soul of commerce has literally left the building. Amazon delivers everything! For the successful business professional, connecting with the masses is less critical than connecting with your explicit customer. Niche marketing dominates. Connect with your targeted prospects until they become customers. Then, turn your customers into referral partners. Connect enough of these individuals on the same video call and a marketplace develops for future business.
Communication fundamentals remain. Smile with your eyes. Ask thought provoking, open-ended questions; at least until you get to, “So, are you ready to sign the agreement?”. Speak with authority. Read the room; yes, even the virtual room. Create value. Communicate trust and reliability. Keep your word. Amazingly, these fundamentals remain effective because at their core they focus on human engagement! Regardless of the technological tools, people still do business with people. At the very least, people do business with brands. Like and trust remains the core. Both attributes must be clearly communicated.
But, do these old-fashioned business practices still apply? Whether a customer is buying the new hot movie on Netflix, or acquiring an unbelievably affordable condo across time zones, commercial fundamentals remain. Through contracts, reputations, prior experience, or faith in the marketplace, both parties trust and believe that the other party will deliver. These transactions happen daily. Essentially, the wheels of commerce continue to turn. Mass communication is more prevalent with video conferencing and complementary software tools. Furthermore, mastery of these channels conveys a significant business advantage. Controlling the channel absolutely aligns with controlling the message.
Business fundamentals are consistent. Human interaction carries the day. Undoubtedly, dear friends and contacts can now exist in a square on my laptop. Furthermore, that reality means that business can be conducted overlooking a lake, or on a patio. Technology does not make the deal. It helps. The individual embracing human connectivity in innovative ways is the difference maker. Firmly believing that humans want to connect is the secret. Communicate such that the listener is comfortable and trusting. Believe that such comfort starts with familiar tools and environments that dictate success. Effective communication, trust, and execution ultimately matter!
Now excuse me, I have to put on my blazer for this next Zoom call. Is today the day that I actually wear gym shorts that match my blazer and starched white shirt?
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC