Sometimes I hear several similar messages in a row and know I am meant to understand something at a new level. That was the case at the last Confab, the conference for consultants by consultants, where I took an optional workshop by Tom Drews on how to create compelling virtual presentations. In the workshop Tom mentioned that the number of inside sales people hires in recent years exceeded the number of external sales people. Tom’s point was that webinar and online meeting technology made this possible.
When I mentioned this very interesting trend to Cox Ferrall CMC and Sales Consultant Extraordinaire, Cox got a wicked gleam in his eye and said (sarcastically) “Yes, Jennifer, don’t you know that people buy from computers they like?”
Then a few weeks later I was meeting with Nick and Betty Juarez, who own Juarez and Associates, a successful market analysis and management consulting firm in Santa Monica. When I talked to Nick (also a CMC) about social media, he reminded me that his success is mainly due to the close relationships he created and maintained over the years.
So here’s the message. While you’re in the social media space, populating your profiles with interesting content, messages and conversations, sending the emails, doing the online webinars and meetings, don’t forget the value of one-on-one relationships. Make sure your marketing plan has one-on-one meetings, phone calls and other relationship-building opportunities where you can connect on a personal level. Because people buy from people they like, not from computers.