My question for you: Is your message important enough and smart enough to sit among the many other priorities on this person’s smartphone?
A few weeks ago at the Inbound Marketing Forum in Atlanta, I put the executives in attendance through about five minutes of hell. (I don’t mind telling you, it was kind of fun.)
Bins were handed out at each table—not unlike the smaller trays you might see as you pass through security at the airport—and I asked participants to place their smartphones in the bin and pass it along to the end of the table. Before people even started reaching for their devices, the anxiety in the room was evident on their faces.
In reality, I did not ask people to surrender their smartphones completely; each bin remained at their respective table and no one ever lost sight of their device. But they were out of reach.
Then, we brainstormed why being without your iPhone, Droid or Blackberry can cause so much anxiety. We talked about who the participants were most fearful of losing touch with: Spouses and children (of course)... clients, employees, employers. We made a long list of information they feared doing without (chief among those items: Family well-being, current sales figures, accounting).
And finally, we asked participants to put themselves in the place
of most of the business people they sell to…
and create a list of the kinds of information their clients cannot do without.
The resulting list included all of the family-related communication you might predict, but also those issues presumably critical in the operation of a business (or business unit). Contact with clients, vendors, C- or VP-level staff, accounting, marketing, sales and other employees.
People in business use their mobile devices to communicate
and monitor issues that are critical to the operation of a business.
Then, we asked the group a rhetorical question: Was the last email or voicemail message you sent to your client… smartphone-worthy? Did it relate to one of these critical categories of information that your client is tuned-in to? Because those are the messages to which your clients and prospects are most likely to respond.
A recent survey from Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life project illustrated just how attached the average person is to their mobile device, and why. (Click here to see a summary from Online Media Daily.) But when you’re thinking about the kinds of information-reliant people you’re calling on in the B2B sales world, this dependency becomes even more dramatic.
So before you press “send” or leave that next voicemail, ask: Is your message important enough and smart enough to sit among the many other priorities on this person’s smartphone?
Learn more about being important enough to your clients!
Mike Anderson is the VP of Consumer Insights and Communication at the Center for Sales Strategy