Setting the right tone for business development

by georgetc

I have always believed that human interaction is critical in the sales and business development process. One aspect of this has been linked to the physical aspect of picking up the telephone and having an intelligent conversation rather than just sending out emails or posting on LinkedIn and hoping the right people see it and act. However, of equal importance when you are having that conversation is to be human. Sounds obvious, but sales is about blending the rational and emotional. The people we speak to are exactly that… people. They have lives outside of their working environment and personalities to match. Their natural persona may not match their work persona, but any sales approach needs to appeal to a balance of both. To not do this is to not care.

As such, how you speak to them about an agency offer or proposition and how you ascertain their current situation is an art, and it is the art of effective and compelling storytelling. PR and branding agencies talk about this all the time, but it is equally important in sales. Second to this is tone of voice. I think we can all hold our hands up at times to sounding slightly anal and corporate in correspondence to prospects and clients alike. Sometimes that may be a necessity, but in the main, it isn’t. We have worked with various clients who specialise in tone of voice and it is fascinating to delve into the psychology behind language. They have helped major businesses convey a much-improved human image this way, which has resulted in far more positive feedback from customers and staff.

From an internal communications perspective, both tone and treating people properly are crucial.

Within any organisation, treating and communicating with the staff as humans should be something that is practised without it being made out to be some sort of big chore. Nobody wants to work for a company (or client for that matter) that behaves like an arse – and there are some out there! A human approach to attract and retain customers and the best staff will pay dividends.

Likewise, this type of approach must be part of any sales persons make up in order to create success. People don’t want to be interrupted by a call in the middle of their working day, but the art is to approach it correctly, empathise and tell a story in a compelling, interesting and natural way. If you can get them to enjoy the conversation, they may even agree to find out more face to face. From this, you may have just taken your first steps towards a beautiful business relationship!