If you’re a Bruce Springsteen fan, you’ll recall his 1992 album “Human Touch.” On the title track, he cries out that he wants “just a little of that human touch.”
Little did Springsteen know how right he was! We need a “human touch” more than ever–not only in our music, but in business as well. We all know something’s been missing. But what?
My experience in business over the years has led me to make some observations about this. Time and again, I’ve seen employees be asked to just fall in line. I’ve seen accreditations based on certifying people who can sell a product because they memorized a product script. I’ve interviewed hundreds of customers and salespeople trying to figure out what drives the most joyful and impactful sales conversations.
Oftentimes it’s the human touch, the human conversation, that makes the difference. It’s more than the product pitch. It’s more than the slides. One customer I talked to said,
“Sometimes I think the biggest barrier to the buyer-seller relationship is their language.”
Language has to go through a filter. It doesn’t always get translated in the way we think. All of those conversations and dialogues I’ve had with salespeople and customers have helped me see one thing: the way we are doing business is repeatable and scalable, but it lacks the human touch so desperately needed in the world today.
Lost in Translation
Over the last few decades, salespeople have been trained in specific ways to sell. But it doesn’t necessarily translate when you’re talking to a CEO and you have to determine how they best receive information and what is important to them. Is it somebody who likes numbers and comes from a marketing background, or is it a technology person who wrote the code to start the company?
Sellers are constantly burdened with the challenge of figuring out how to talk, how to show up, and what slides to use.
It’s like me as a young kid sitting down with sheet music, feeling overwhelmed. All I really wanted to do was learn how to play in my own style and connect with an audience.
One of my favorite things to do now is to sit down at a hotel piano with strangers around and just start playing. I like to watch and react to what’s working and not working. I don’t have to be burdened by playing a memorized song I have in my back pocket.
Translating the Touch Into Conversations
Today I can translate that same sense of flow and curiosity into my sales conversations. I’ve been very successful selling differently in each situation. I use different forms of communication depending on the particular person or audience.
Sometimes I use video proposals instead of PowerPoint decks because I know that might translate better to that particular person or audience. Or I may text message a client or get on social media. I’ve never followed a specific playbook.
If you’re tired of following a script in your sales conversations and business—and more importantly, if you’re tired of following a script in your life—there’s a better way.
Maybe you’re afraid to try something new. You’re not sure how your colleagues, supervisors, customers, or clients might react. You’re used to following the same scripts you’ve always used. Maybe everyone around you is following the script and it feels intimidating to break away from the norm.
Whatever your fears and concerns, I’m here to show you the way and give you actionable steps at every turn.
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