There is no denying it. How we interact and communicate with one another has changed dramatically since March 2020. It is unlikely that we will go back to ‘how it used to be’. For people working in business development that may be hard. They had a formula, it worked and so they rinsed and repeated. So, what do we do next? In this blog, I am going to cover how, in my opinion, we have changed how we communicate, what we did pre-pandemic, what we may be to continue doing, and what has possibly been lost forever when thinking about sales and marketing.
Has the way we communicated changed?
Pre-pandemic, almost everyone was in the office. So what? Well, that meant for those of you doing telesales or follow-ups, it was simple. You dialled the office number and in some cases a direct dial. Again most people were working 9-5 pm so you had a big window in which to reach someone. Fast forward to today…. I for one am writing this blog from my home office as I am now only in the office 2 days a week. Many businesses have dumped their offices and now have a totally remote workforce. So, unless you have my mobile number it is going to be easy for me to avoid your call – of course only if I wanted to…
I know personally in the height of the pandemic when I had embraced Zoom, I was confused with my phone ringing without an appointment?! If someone didn’t have an appointment, I didn’t have time to speak with them – how crazy is that? I have tried to get better at leaving space in my diary so I can take phone calls, but when you don’t know when people are going to call it can be tough!
Emails seem to have become the new phone call. This is NOT sustainable, for many reasons. Mainly the fact that it is so much more time-consuming to engage via email than a simple phone call, or a meeting, but also because emails can be misread, misunderstood, and sometimes can really damage a relationship.
From a marketing perspective, we have less accurate data than we once had following campaigns. Tools like Lead Forensics will have limited use as people are working from home so IP addresses will not match to a business in many cases, giving marketing and sales teams less quality leads.
What should we do moving forward?
As has been the case pre-pandemic, our clients are king. So, how do your clients or prospects want to be communicated with? When you prospect a company or individual, do you take their communication preferences into account? E.g., do they prefer email, the telephone, or a video meeting? If not, then start today.
We all have a preferred approach to how we interact with one another just like we all have different learning styles. The key for 2022 and beyond, will be about adapting, collecting in-depth quality data about your prospects and clients, and then delivering to them exactly what they want. There will be no room for scattergun approaches, you need to become a sniper.
Tools like LinkedIn give us so much data on businesses and their employees, so this is a great place to start. Whilst you might not be able to get hold of that company director on their office number anymore, with LinkedIn you can see that your friend Geoff is a connection and that they both play golf. So, go old school and take them both out for a round of golf! Yes, it is more time-consuming than a quick phone call, but this is all about building relationships that will last!
How can we help you?
If you want help creating some targeted communication plans or key account management plans, get in touch with me or my team. 01903 530787 Lara.