Are you hiding behind technology? Don't underestimate the personal touch

By Steve Kloyda, The Prospecting Expert

With all the technology available today, it's easy for sales people and business owners to hide behind a wall of impersonality. But in truth, this act of hiding can be detrimental to growing your business and fulfilling the needs of your current client — or a future one.

Chances are there is a telephone call that you could make to someone that could enhance both your lives professionally and economically, and yet many will choose not to pick up the phone. Why?

From a young age, many of us are taught not to talk to strangers. Our parents, our teachers and even our friends from the police station taught us as children that there was a real "stranger danger" that we needed to avoid. We were told never to give out our names; never to provide personal information to those we don't know.

While this is a great and necessary rule to follow when we are children, it doesn't help much when we're trying to make contacts as business professionals. After all, how can you make the sale if you're not willing to talk with a prospect?

And for those business owners who don't like sales, or don't think they have to be a sales person, think again. As a rule, if you own your own business, you wear a number of different hats and sales person is perhaps one of the most important.

If you think about it, every time you pick up that phone, you are trying to make a sale.

I remember one time that I answered the phone and the man on the other side of the phone said hello and then insisted that he wasn't trying to sell anything. With a smile, I asked him why he was calling me.

He replied that he was trying to set up an appointment.

"Well, aren't you trying to sell an appointment then?" I asked.

"I'm just trying to set up an appointment, not trying to sell you anything."

I bid him farewell, and told him to call me back when he was actually selling something.

Everyone, each time they try to communicate with another person, is trying to sell something. Whether the topic is the latest calculator, setting an appointment or a noble ideal, the minute that someone opens their mouth, they are trying to convince you of something. That's one of the reasons why children make natural sales people. If they want something, they will make no bones about asking for it. How many times have you seen a child insist on going to the mall? They persist until one of two things happen. They're either at the mall, or in their room. The important point, though, is that they never stop asking.

Let's say that your company has found the cure for cancer. How many cancer patients would you call? How many doctors would you present the new idea to? Truth is, if the product were something you truly believed in, you would try to convince anyone and everyone you met that your product was the best choice.

The bottom line is that there are so many different tools and different ways that you can use to get your message across. However, it is often that personal touch, friendly phone call or warm handshake, that truly seals the deal. So use social media, email, and the like. But never, ever forget that personal touch.