Aug 1, 2011

The Human Element

Communication cannot be so technical and clinical that we lose the human touch. We are talking to humans and we need to behave like humans. We need to 'connect'.

Today I happened to call a company for some information. I was looking for outdoor advertising vendors and landed on this company's website. I called the salesman and here is how the conversation went:

Myself: Hello I am Vivek. I am so and so and I want to know if you have hoardings (billboards) in so and so city.
Salesman: Yes we do have. Can you tell me how you came to know about us?
Myself: Google search
Salesman: May I know your name?
Myself: Vivek Singh
Salesman: Your designation?
Myself: MM
Salesman: Your contact number?
Myself: 9xxxx xxxxx
Salesman: Your email id?
Myself: Can we talk first? What kind of sites you have and...
Salesman: If you give me your email id, I will send all details within 1 hour.
Salesman: Thanks for calling. We will email you the details.

I found the communication too clinical and to the script. Lacked any warmth, emotions and was bad. I know what he asked was important for him and is part of his reporting to his company but what about the interaction he had with me. Why not try to understand what 'exactly' I need. His sales PPT might be the best in the world and will answer all my queries, but at that point, over the phone all I wanted was to understand whether this company can solve my problem. I wanted to understand and I wanted to be heard. I was denied both.

Image: thanunkorn


  1. Wow! Most "real" salesmen/saleswomen would kill for the opportunity that a qualified prospect actually called in and contacted them and would want to understand what their exact needs are and dig deeper to expand the footprint of their solution. It is so much better than dialing for dollars to unqualified suspects or waiting for the phone to ring.

  2. True Riz. I was really surprise at how indifferent he was. I guess, when we call we are desperate. We spam, we plead, we try our best. When the prospect call, we feel he is desperate and don't even care.

  3. Hi Vivek - thanks for sharing.

    I've bashed my head in so many times with Sales guys explaining to them why communication is such a key element in successful conversions.

    You might want to read up about the Spider Web theory [] - an argument that's still ON with a senior Sales Head for a Product company here in Pune.

    How do you deal with 'thick headed' people in your line of work?