I recently traveled to a client’s 2019 sales meeting to conduct a workshop with sales leadership. I love sales meetings because they’re wonderful opportunities to build sales culture.
At the conference registration desk, the client thoughtfully provided me with a “swag bag” they were handing out to all meeting attendees. Nestled in the bottom of the bag were two small bits of plastic with the client’s logo on it. Having never seen one of these before, I asked the registration person what it was.
“It’s to cover your webcam when you’re on conference calls.” And just like that, she handed me more than a bit of plastic – she handed me an entire blog post on creating sales culture.
The Tech You Don’t Understand May Hurt You
That little bit of plastic represents at least three technology failings that hurt a lot of sales organizations.
- We don’t know how to use technology, so we resort to analog hacks. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard a seller or sales manager confess they don’t know how to turn their webcams on and off. That was me once! Now, I set my machine so I join meetings with the webcam off by default. Once you’ve done the spinach-in-the-teeth check, turn the camera on.
- We hide behind technology instead of using it to bring us closer. In-person meetings have turned into online meetings and phone calls have turned into texts. Instead of blocking our webcams, we should be turning them on whenever possible!
- We fail to realize the true value of technology. The webcam can revolutionize your ability to grow relationships at a distance. Forever, sellers have touted the value of the face-to-face meeting – if you really believe it, seize the opportunity to get face-to-face to customers, whether you’re live or remote.
Every Little Bit Counts
Creating a culture of customer intimacy is hard to begin with. It’s hard to establish personal connections with people you’re prospecting. Customer relationships are dynamic, not static. At any given moment, you’re either growing closer to someone, or you’re growing further apart. You need to work to make customer intimacy a priority – it’s much easier to succumb to the myopia of quotas and forecasting. That’s why you must make the most of every opportunity to develop a relationship-growing mindset in your sales team!
This little bit of plastic matters – because EVERY little bit matters.
Lessons for Sales Leaders:
- Get control of your Sales Meeting! If it’s really a sales meeting, that is – a lot of kickoffs are marketing-driven. For real sales meetings, every bit of communication, swag, and agenda must be vetted for congruence with the culture you’re trying to create.
- Create expectations for communication! You can create protocols for when face time is required, when laying eyes on customers is important, and when emails should turn into phone calls.
- Capitalize on opportunities for customer intimacy! The online meeting – with webcams on – is the next best thing to being there. And in a lot of cases, online meetings create better meetings. Are you using it enough? Or are your salespeople leaving relationship-building opportunities on the table?