By Ryan Taft
The “information super-highway” promised to provide everything imaginable at the click of a mouse.
I also remember when texts, Facebook and Twitter hit the scene. Geographic walls crumbled and time zones evaporated into the ether. We could finally connect with anyone, anywhere at any time.
But let me ask a question: did that future materialize for us as promised? Yes, we connect with a lot of information every single minute of every single day. But do we truly feel more connected at a human level?
Looking around our world today, we appear less connected than ever.
Recently, my wife, Melissa, and I went out to dinner at a pretty nice place in Scottsdale, AZ. We enjoyed great conversation and some fantastic food. And then I noticed something.
The couple at the table next to us wasn’t talking at all. I mean complete and utter silence.
Before you jump to any conclusions, allow me to share that this couple was not elderly, peaceful and content. Nope, they were probably early 30’s. That being said, what do you think kept them from talking? If you guessed, “scrolling through Facebook” then you guessed right.
I know couples facing major issues in their marriage because of phone addiction. In fact, it almost happened to Melissa and me.
I regularly found myself scrolling Facebook while she talked to me. Honestly, I ignored half of what she said most of the time. Call it “shiny object syndrome” or “squirrel disease” or call it what it was…flat out rude.
I decided to change and now we live by a simple rule. (Okay…the rule is really more for me than for her.) If she walks into the room and I am on my phone, I immediately put my phone down and give her my full attention.
Let me tell you, this makes a HUGE difference in our relationship.
What message do you think this sends her? My actions tell her that she is more important than anything else happening on Facebook, Twitter or a text.
And you know what? She is.
So let’s talk about you and the customer for a minute.
As a sales person, the decline in human connection actually provides us with a great opportunity. Your customer needs a human connection in this crazy digitally-connected age.
In his classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie says that the need for connection between human beings is so great that, when connections completely disappear, people will literally go insane and create alternate personalities in order to create connection.
Do you ever watch homeless people talking to themselves? What about Tom Hank’s “friend” Wilson in the movie Castaway? Bingo. The need for connection.
So the next time a customer walks in your door, embrace the opportunity to give that customer what he or she likely lacks in life right now: connection.
We call it being “Coffee-Worthy”.
If you were deciding whether or not to sit down for cup of coffee with someone you just met, what characteristics would you want that person to have?
- Good conversationalist
- Positive energy
Spend time asking questions of your customer that show your truly care. Get your customer talking about their day. Get your customer talking about themselves.
Remember, the most interesting people are usually the most interested people.
So, are you Coffee-Worthy? Or do you get down to business too quickly and push the customer away from you?
We live in a disconnected world. It’s time for you to reconnect us.