Here are some things that are true: people don’t read. And when they pretend to read, they skim. Comprehension and context are at an all time low. We’re snackers, and it’s adding up. Where this hits us the worst is when communications professionals attempt to match their idea of me (and by me, I mean you) with their “target.”
It’s deeper than not reading. Part of it is not caring, because we can’t care. In sales, if you’re trying for a number, you have to scrap and scratch and push hard and do all those volume-based things that will drive a number or you’re on the street.
It’s deeper than not caring, because we don’t have enough hours in the day, so we can’t even find the TIME to care. How can we read and care and do all this other stuff when we’ve got products to sell and deadlines and goals?
It gets worse. Kind of.
Guess what? 2009 is just about here. Economically, the US is in for quite a shake, and all my friends from all over the world (because I do appreciate you being part of this conversation) are also in for a crapload of un-fun. Your customers are cutting back. They aren’t paying. They can’t meet their commitments.
You are in retention mode. Now, if you’ve treated me like a target all this time, do you think I have loyalty or any kind of need to keep on as your customer? If you don’t know anything about me, do you have the handles you’ll need to preserve your relationship with me as a customer?
Build. Relationships. Now.
Learn the tools. Understand how to re-humanize communications. Learn how to scale differently. And put your efforts into relationship mode.
The cost: a cutback on the mass approach.
The reward: deepening of relationships (and potential sustained or augmented sales) with your client base.
Math wise, if the dial is already going down related to things you can’t much control, you’ve just earned a little time to convert to a relationship-based mode.
Or don’t, because I’ll love me a good fire sale on your database.
What do you think?
Photo credit, NickyFern