A Step More Personal

I was talking to a sales director last week and asked her, "What's the hardest thing for you to teach salespeople?" Her response surprised me. She said, "To get them to be more personal." She went on to explain that they want to send an email when a phone call would be more effective, or use a phone call when a face to face visit would be the best strategy. "It all comes down to relationships," she said, "And the more personable you are, the stronger the relationship will be."

While our society has clearly placed a high premium on the quantity of interactions, it certainly has neglected the quality of those interactions. What if, the next time you communicated (or attempted to communicate with someone), you stopped and asked yourself, "How could I make this interaction a step more personal?" Some examples might include:

  • Sending a personal email to each person instead of a "blanket" one to the 7 people in a group. Before your protest, try this: Write the first one, copy it to the clipboard, and paste it to the new email for each person. You can then add one line of text that is personal to that person, and you're done.
  • Using a phone call instead of an email to convey a short message. The warmth of an analog voice in today's digital world is most always welcome.
  • Using a personal handwritten note to share a thought. It takes no more than 2 minutes. Isn't the relationship that important?
  • Removing your phone, tablet, or laptop from view when talking with someone face to face. Nothing screams "I am waiting for something more important" than having these devices front and center during a conversation.

Taking the more personal approach isn't just for salespeople. It's for anyone who wants to build stronger relationships.