Connection is your ticket to the dance
We live in a world where we give our babies smart phones to play with, our children devices to watch at the table when eating out and where our teens communicate in social media shorthand using touched up images to get more likes.
We complain about the time we waste on our devices, but freak out when we lose our phones because our world lies inside it – our contacts, our memories captured digitally, our conversation histories….
Are we in danger of losing the art of real connection and conversation? Is our ability to establish, develop and nurture relationships which we once learnt by osmosis, fast becoming something future generations will need to be taught?
Technology is a reality. It’s not going anywhere. It’s a vital part of our communication cache. But as Simon Sinek says: “Trust is not formed through a screen, it is formed across a table. It takes a handshake to bind humans . . . and no technology yet can replace that. There is no such thing as virtual trust.”
Human beings are wired for connection: our mirror neurons help us empathise with others. When we feel like someone “gets us” we’re more likely to trust them.
We’re wired for connection over efficiency, for relationship over price, for belonging over platforms.
The reason I love sales is because it’s all about people. Connection. Conversation. Community. Service.
How well is your team connecting with each other? How well do they form real and lasting connections with their prospects and clients? How well do you? Do your clients trust you? How do you know?
Regardless of how well we think we connect with others, we can always improve our ability to connect with a wider range of people, to maintain connections with more people and to deepen the connections we’ve already established.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when evaluating the effectiveness of your team’s connection skills:
Does each team member prioritise relationship building before a focus on selling?
Who is the best team member at doing this? What do they do that makes them great? What can others in the team learn from them?
If I asked our clients, would they rave about our communication skills? What are they likely to suggest we could get better at?
If there was a problem (regardless of its business nature), how likely is the customer to seek out their salesperson as a trusted advisor/part of the solution?
How well do I model the art of connection and conversation with my team? What message is my behaviour sending to my team?
It’s a mistake to simply assume our sales team comes equipped with connection and relationship building skills to the level we need them to be. It’s time for us as leaders and organisations to step up and support them to be artful connectors, relationship nurturers and enable each person to honour the gift of service sales is capable of being.