I got blasted on social media. No, it wasn’t someone inviting me to connect and then blasting me with a sales pitch (my usual complaint about bad social media behavior). It was someone critiquing me because I write about social selling and the importance of sales reps staying in touch with prospects, clients and colleagues, but I didn’t respond to his comment immediately.
It might have been one of those weeks when I was traveling, on deadline or just plain exhausted. (Don’t ask me to put a sentence together after 9 p.m.)
Here is the response I did send: “My communication may not be as timely as some, due to client work and other deadlines. I take vacations and unplug. Weekends are family time. I make these choices intentionally.”
And then we began a productive exchange of ideas. We discussed the differences between digital connections, social selling, and one-on-one engagement. Others built on our discussion and shared similar perspectives. That’s one of the powers of “engagement.” We don’t have to agree with one another, but it’s important to share our perspectives.
However, we all agree it’s a balancing act. Staying connected with others is important, but so is occasionally disconnecting from technology.
Social selling in the digital age: convenient but exhausting
Thanks to mobile devices and social media, we now live in “microwave time.” Did you ever stand in front of a microwave and get really impatient because your food wasn’t heating up fast enough? Similarly, we now expect immediate responses to emails and texts.
The problem with this expectation is twofold:
- The responses we get are often in microwave digits — incomplete sentences and quick, truncated messages — which is no way to communicate effectively or to build real relationships.
- Being “always on” is taxing and overwhelming, and it distracts us from nurturing meaningful relationships with the people who are right in front of us.
When it comes to balance, technology is a double-edged sword.
In an increasingly connected world, unplugging may be your most effective sales technique. (Photo: iStock)