With the looming automation of…well, everything…it makes sense to me now that to succeed in Sales going forward, is to be anything BUT automated. And a lot of that has to do with the way you sound, what you say, and how you come across. A ‘first impression’ yes, but more than that.
Which indirectly, leads us to this recent article, and the momentary swirl it created surrounding a PR giant, Edelman, over a blog post related to a very tragic event [which we will not actually name in this writing, for reasons stated below.] See it here.
There are many ways to say things, and sometimes you just need a filter, a bit of reflection, or some sensitivity. We all do. The writer of the linked blog post clearly did in my view. While sales people can often be seen as manipulative or lacking grace, they can also alienate if they go for too much jargon, as was the case here on the PR side, I would assert.
Consider that context is everything if you would, and like it or not, the final arbiter is your recipient; whether an audience, your client, or a potential customer. In the case of Edelman with this, the ‘insider’ jargon; the context of what was being written about; was taken in a completely OTHER context than perhaps intended, which was not realized at the time. So much for “PR”, from a world-class PR firm.
While I give them credit [sort of, narrowly] for holding their ground in one sense on exactly the meaning they had intended, they bomb out hugely for not realizing how this would come across outside their own defined orbit. Using the word ‘opportunity’ as they did, may have made sense internally…but only in a very small circle. A bit tone-deaf if you ask me, at a very inopportune time.
Their audience: those same client[s], prospect[s], the public at large mentioned above, all took this a different way, and frankly, Edelman should have easily avoided such a scenario. It is after all, what they purport to advise their very clients on. Doesn’t the same apply to other areas of life, including how you deal with your own clients?
The lesson here on the Sales side regarding how Edelman dealt with this scenario [since that is after all, our focus]:::
- Put yourself, mentally, on the ‘other’ side, as Edelman should have. The side where your audience/client/prospect sits.
- Leave all the jargon, talking points, “closing” tactics aside, and THINK about where your client is, and what they want/need to hear. And be mindful: To become neutral for an exercise like this, is actually much harder than it appears.
- Project how what you say & do will be received by them, in all the ways you can imagine. Then vary it, mix it up, and make changes to both parts, viewing it from as many angles as possible.
Now, while you could note that I am perilously close to the appearance of glomming-on to what is [already] a terrible tragedy & series of events following [awful in several ways], you should also note:  the title here gives no hint to it being related to these occurrences, and deliberately so,  The name of the person involved is not mentioned anywhere in this post [except inside the article link], avoiding most obvious ‘link-bait’ possibilities which could drive traffic to this blog, also deliberate,  Edelman is also not in the headline/subject, appearing in the 2nd paragraph, and  the fervent attention about this tragedy has somewhat cooled, allowing for review of all parts of what occurred here, for potential learnings by all.
So…how did THIS come across, to you? Any glaring words I missed/misused, that don’t reflect their intended meaning? I certainly hope not in this, of all MoM[S] postings.