Attack of the robots: Don’t let automation replace the human touch
Thursday, May 21, 2015/
Be scared. They are here! Living among us. Listening. Watching our every move.
Personal and marketable “connectivity” is of course all pervasive and ever penetrating. We sleep with our apps open by our side. But how deep does it really go?
I imagine asking parents, ‘Would you trust your baby with a robot. Picture the sterile, insect-like claws cradling the infant and trying to offer the little cherub comfort?’ Their response would be of course, ‘No thanks.’
The image of a robot trying to nurture a baby seems callous. This is interesting, because this analogy is not unlike what many new, growing and evolving businesses in reality achieve by replacing people with technology.
Automation, spam, and email (instead of face-time) are all signs you are attacking your customers with robots. No emotion. No connection. R-o-b-o-t.
I’m a relatively early adaptor. I fantasize about gizmos and gadgets as much as the next guy. However, I also understand the damaging implications of technology when bits and bytes replace human interaction — where humans are required.
Harness technology (absolutely!) – especially when it makes things faster, easier or more convenient for your customers. But don’t ask a robot or another type of machine to outperform a human when it comes to forming bonds and emotional connections.
Be careful, as humans can mutate into robots when they are devoid of passion and a genuine enthusiasm for what they do or sell. Cold, transactional, and calculated. R-o-b-o-t. Help them stay human by finding their passion and infusing this into their customers with solutions that empower, enable and benefit them.
Instead of email, try a conversation over coffee. Rather than a template, try a handwritten note. Make sure the customer truly feels your passion. When you meet for the first time, have a genuine objective to build rapport and connect, really connect. Be curious. Let them know you’re not ‘the’ robot – you’re someone who explores, seeks to understand, someone who cares and makes a difference.
Robots can be manufactured en masse. Genuine, talented and passionate salespeople are rare. No programmed responses or typical sales code. You stand out as an exceptional salesperson by demonstrating your deepest personal traits and connecting as a member of the most important tribe of all – the human race.
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