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News & Views from Alchemis

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Call us for a chat on +44 (0)20 7836 3678 or Email Jim Piper or David Newman

Don’t lose the personal touch for business development in the digital age

The latest IPA Bellwether report makes for an interesting read, about UK marketers’ digital budgets increasing at their highest rate in a decade.

All this sounds encouraging on the surface, but is tempered by words of caution from industry luminaries. It’s certainly relevant and interesting for the range of digital agencies that we help with their business development campaigns, from technical design & build to digital marketing.

However, what really caught my eye was a reminder that IPA studies have consistently shown that the most effective marketing results from a 60:40 ratio, 60% being emotional brand building and 40% being rational sales activation.

I would completely concur with this in business development terms. Although we obviously need to be able to ‘prove’ our clients’ expertise and experience through the hard facts of their case studies, we also need to work really hard to engage with prospects on a human level.

All the research we’ve carried out over the years shows that the most important element of any sales call is the personality and approach of the person who’s making the call and is often the distinctive feature between saying yes and no to a meeting.

This applies to face to face meetings as well, which is why many of my previous blogs bang on about NOT using a creds deck or PowerPoint presentation in a first meeting – how can you build trust, confidence and rapport when going through a bunch of largely irrelevant slides?

Michael Mirau hit the nail on the head with an insightful article in Forbes this week. His views echo my points when he talks about The Importance of Relationship Building In The Digital Age.

To quote one paragraph from his article:

“To get to know someone, you must spend time with them and develop the relationship. This applies to our business networks, our team members, our vendors and, most importantly, our customers. You cannot depend on emails, texts, newsletters, blogs, etc., to build these relationships. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying these aren’t important tools that don’t have a place in our business processes. However, they cannot take the place of spending time with people.”

So, even as we hurtle into a future of ever-expanding methods of digital communication, don’t lose sight of the fact that personality and human interaction go a very long way.

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