If you have been paying attention to anything within the past decade, you have probably noticed that people are becoming more and more hooked on their cell phones with every passing day. It seems that no matter where you go, you’ll see someone on their phone. If you are thinking that social media and texting are beginning to dominate how we communicate, you might be right.
This means that salespeople have to adapt as well.
Yes, this website if primarily designed for phone or face-to-face sales, but this new phenomenon is forcing us to realize a harsh truth – if we don’t learn how to close deals over text messaging, we will miss out on a huge slice of the pie.
This is a newer method in which salespeople are still trying to master. Back 20 years ago, cell phones were really only used to make calls. People disliked texting because it was cumbersome (who remembers T9 texting?) and oftentimes, people were limited on a monthly basis as to how many texts they could actually send out. I vividly remember having a brick-style cell phone that could only send/receive 200 texts in a month. I certainly would not waste one of those texts interacting with a salesperson.
Nowadays, we all have smart phones with basically a full keyboard that appears on the screen when you are ready to text. Many cell plans have included unlimited texting as well. Texting has become an easy way to communicate with someone at their convenience. Because of this, people would rather text than have a real conversation.
Texting gives you the opportunity to talk to someone who either does not want to meet with you, or simply does not have the time to talk. It allows you to get your message out in a stress-free and easy format. If you are able to do this, you can close more deals at a faster rate.
What to Avoid
Texting can be tricky though. You will want to avoid some certain behaviors – some of which are common in other forms, such as E-mail.
Walls of Text
Texts are different than notes, voicemails, or emails. They are different because users dislike reading a “wall of text”, meaning that the longer the text message is, the less likely someone will finish reading the entire thing. Avoid sending a novel over a text message.
Just like a written message, your reputation will rest upon your professional grammar. Make sure everything is spelled correctly and makes sense. Read it out loud multiple times to make sure everything sounds alright.
I don’t think I have ever opened a shortened URL in a text message from a number that I don’t recognize. Most people are very skeptical of unknown links to random websites that they do not recognize.
Possibility of Multiple Interepretations
Because you are not able to physically talk to the prospect, everything you send is up to the interpretation of whoever reads it. Make sure everything is clear as day and nothing can be misconstrued.
Every so often, people will ask me about the use of emojis. For those who do not know, an emoji is a graphic that is found on the smart phone keyboard, usually consisting of faces and relevant items. In this case, a relevant emoji would possible be a little police car. The argument for the use of emojis can be summed up by saying that they make the message pop more for the reader.
Be careful though when using emojis – there is a significant generational and professional gap between those who use them and those who do not. The use of emojis are becoming more and more popular now with everybody from all generations and backgrounds, but they really have not made their way in to the professional environment yet. I would stay away from emojis. Be cognizant of your audience and your professional image.
Very similar to emojis in terms of the generational gap, text talk (such as LOL, ROFL, BRB, etc) should be avoided. Remember, you are representing not only yourself, but your company.
If you are in Doubt, Use Texting as a Means to a Live Conversation
Call me old-fashioned, but I subscribe to the notion that simple texting could never take the place of having a real conversation. You miss out on crucial elements, such as voice inflection, rapport building, etc. This is why I sometimes use texts purely as a “call me back” tool.
Again, a text should be short, simple, engaging, and to the point. Here is an example if we were working for a security company:
“Hello, sir/ma’am! My name is ____ and I am texting you from the Safe Security Company! There have been break-ins in your area. I would like to discuss your security needs with you. Please give me a call at (555) 456-7890 at your earliest convenience.”
Again, it includes the call to action for the prospect to get in touch with you.
Texting can be a powerful tool to help bring your message to someone who doesn’t really want to physically talk to you. It can also help convert people who are really busy and don’t have the time to sit down with you. As texting become more and more popular, there is a significant chunk of business that can be done this way. Take full advantage of it when you can, but also, remember that you can also use texting as a means to a live conversation, whichever you prefer.
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